Local men who died during the Third Battle of Ypres
31 July to 10 November 1917

Also known as the Battle of Passchendaele.

DPasschendaele, now a field of mud. November, 1917.
"Passchendaele, now a field of mud." November, 1917.
Image Source Libraries and Archives Canada


Ypres occupied a strategic position during the First World War because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north (the Schlieffen Plan). The neutrality of Belgium was guaranteed by Britain; Germany's invasion of Belgium brought the British Empire into the war. The German army surrounded the city on three sides, bombarding it throughout much of the war. To counterattack, British, French, and allied forces made costly advances from the Ypres Salient into the German lines on the surrounding hills.

In the First Battle of Ypres (19 October to 22 November 1914), the Allies captured the town from the Germans. The Germans had used tear gas at the Battle of Bolimov on 3 January 1915. Their use of poison gas for the first time on 22 April 1915 marked the beginning of the Second Battle of Ypres, which continued until 25 May 1915. They captured high ground east of the town. The first gas attack occurred against Canadian, British, and French soldiers, including both metropolitan French soldiers as well as Senegalese and Algerian tirailleurs (light infantry) from French Africa. The gas used was chlorine. Mustard gas, also called Yperite from the name of this town, was also used for the first time near Ypres, in the autumn of 1917.

Of the battles, the largest, best-known, and most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres (31 July to 10 November 1917, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele), in which the British, Canadian, ANZAC, and French forces recaptured the Passchendaele Ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives. After months of fighting, this battle resulted in nearly half a million casualties to all sides, and only a few miles of ground won by Allied forces. During the course of the war the town was all but obliterated by the artillery fire.

English-speaking soldiers in that war often referred to Ieper/Ypres by the deliberate mispronunciation Wipers. British soldiers even published a wartime newspaper called the Wipers Times. The same style of deliberate mispronunciation was applied to other Flemish place names in the Ypres area for the benefit of British troops, such as Whyteshaete becoming White Sheet and Ploegsteert becoming Plug Street.

Ypres was one of the sites that hosted an unofficial Christmas Truce in 1914 between German and British soldiers.

During World War Two, the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) would fight the Germans in a delaying action at the Ypres-Comines Canal, one of the actions that allowed the Allied retreat to Dunkirk.

Text source: Wikipedia

Dead soldiers of one of the Highlanders regiments awaiting burial, August 1917.
Dead soldiers of one of the Highlanders regiments awaiting burial, August 1917.
IWM (Q 7814)

Click on a surname to read about the individual
SurnameNameRankNumberAgeDateTheatreWhere CommemoratedUnit
AylingWilliamPte1967261917-09-22Ypres 3Tyne CotRF 32 124B 41D
BengerWilliam Joseph MMCapt88288221917-10-17Ypres 3Arras MemRFC 20 Sqd
BennettArthur ErnestSgt22667361917-08-05Ypres 3Menin GateES 12
BowlerHenry JohnPte534416321917-10-30Ypres 3Tyne Cot P152LR2/6
BrookFrederick Charles2Lt40872361917-08-16Ypres 3Tyne CotRDub F 8 48B 16D
BuddGeorge Henry WarnerGnr27279411917-08-22Ypres 3Tyne CotPASLI 6 43B 14D
ChannellWalter HenryPte57173341917-08-06Ypres 3Estaires Com Cem ExMGC 173
ChoneyAlbert Walter MMSgtS/505281917-10-26Ypres 3Tyne CotWS 02
CollerThomas GeorgePteG/40024211917-09-21Ypres 3Ypres ReservoirWS 11
DeaneArthur FrancisRflWO 339/73750271917-08-16Ypres 3Bedford House Enc. No 4 IV G 3MGC 167
DulakeDHGnr242015191917-09-04Ypres 3Tyne CotGloucester 2/5
DunnWilliam WalterRflS/5282281917-08-16Ypres 3Tyne CotRB 2
GabrielStewart ArkcollPte139088391917-08-21Ypres 3DozinghemRGA 76 Seige Bty
GauntGeorgePte46653361917-10-23Ypres 3Ypres ReservoirLeics 11 6D Pion
HarrisWalter StuartPte67823191917-09-24Ypres 3Tyne CotMGC (Inf) 233 Coy
HarrisonCharles HibbertPteWO 339/36550201917-07-31Ypres 3Talana FarmRFA
JohnsonErnest RalphSgtR/277241917-10-15Ypres 3LijssenthoekKRRC 7
MacfarlandGeorge AdamsSto 1N/A Lost441917-10-17Ypres 3East Finchley CemRAMC
MarsonJohnPteB/200764281917-10-12Ypres 3PoelcapelleRB 1 Formerly ASC
MoorcroftFrederick JohnPte13076201917-08-03Ypres 3Maple LeafRFC 42 Squadron
NorringtonRaymond2Lt551657201917-08-16Ypres 3Menin GateLR 1/16
PalmerThomasRflG/75082351917-10-09Ypres 3Cement HouseMiddx 16
PayneErnest VictorPte27708251917-09-12Ypres 3Artillery WoodRGA 152 Siege Battery
PenfoldGeorgeL/Cpl67048341917-08-04Ypres 3Belgian Battery CornerRGA 122 Heavy Bty
RounceErnest RobertLt36564201917-08-23Ypres 3Hospital Farm RFA C Bty 786 Bde
ShrubbOliver JohnGnr40281191917-08-03Ypres 3DozinghemSWB 10
SmithLeonard CecilPte231250211917-10-26Ypres 3Tyne Cot MemLR 2/2
SmithPercy RobertPte50984191917-07-31Ypres 3Menin GateManchester 18
StewardArthur AmyotPteWO 339/44387351917-10-06Ypres 3Dunhallow ADS CemeteryRFC 11 Balloon Company
StredwickErnest HenryPte2190301917-10-12Ypres 3Tyne Cot MemES 8
TaylorHarryLt10589291917-10-05Ypres 3Vlamertinghe NewAus RFA
TresizeOliverPte4573221917-11-05Ypres 3LijssenthoekAus 03
TurnerHarcourt CharlesPteWO 339/8384321917-08-23Ypres 3Tyne CotDCLI 6
WarrThomas ECQMSWO 339/109774201917-10-14Ypres 3Boulogne EastDorset 6 50B 17D
WheelerErnest JohnL/Cpl15368291917-10-06Ypres 3Tyne Cot MemDevon 9
WhelanStephen EwartAM 1stCl6279301917-07-31Ypres 3Menin GateNorthants 7
WhiteArthurPte295303221917-10-26Ypres 3SW649 York Pl Mil Hosp BrightonLR 4

A postcard view of Ypres before the war A postcard view of Ypres after the war
Postcard views of the same building in Ypres before and after the war.
Images courtesy of Eileen Hunter