Published By Ben Hillidge
Battle of Menin Road. Polygon Wood. 25 Bn Australian Infantry AIF. 20 Sept. 1917.
During the Battle of Menin Road 1 and 2 Divisions Australian IF would attack side by side in the sector to the north of the Menin Road near Glencourse Wood. The 25 Bn Australian Infantry would be the lead battalion on the right of 2 Division’s front, behind them were 27 & 28 Battalions – each would leapfrog the other – 25 Bn had the objective to capture and consolidate the Red Line with the following battalions going on to the Blue Line and then the Green Line – the last being at right angles from the north edge of Polygon Wood. The advance would be made under the cover of a creeping barrage.
The 25 Bn Australian Infantry moved up to the front line over the night of 18 September 1917. They occupied a section of line in front of Westhoek near to Glencourse Wood. By 2.30am on the morning of 20 September they were assembled in their start positions – marked out by tape laid on the ground. At Zero hour they closed up to within 50yards of the creeping barrage and followed it to their objective, the Red Line. Word reached the Battalion HQ at 6.45am that the attack had achieved its objectives with little opposition and that they had consolidated the line and dug in. They remained in this position until relieved during the following night. During this time there was frequent shelling of their lines. Casualties were – KIA Officers 1, ORs 32; DoW 1 Officer 9 ORs; Wounded 3 Officers, 135 ORs and 4 missing.
GOOGLE MAPS satellite view centres on Westhoek with Polygon Wood to the east.
References and Sources AIF Official War History chapter The Menin Road page 738 page 761(31 of doc). WAR DIARY 25 Bn Aust. Infantry, Sept 1917.
B&O 1917. Third Ypres. Battle of Menin Road. 25 Bn Australian Infantry. 20 Sept. 1917.