Published By Ben Hillidge
Menin Road. Fitzclarence Wood. 5 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 10-24 October 1917.
During the first 2 weeks in October 1917 the 5 Bn KSLI had been at Messines. On 10 October they left that sector and moved north on a 2 day march to Ridge Wood – on the site of Ridge Wood CWGC cemetery near to Wytschaete – where they were billeted in huts. They spent 4 days at Ridge Wood until, at 1.00pm on 16 October, they moved up to support trenches north of Menin Road. The Regimental History records they were at Fitzclarence Wood, the War Diary gives the battalion HQ located about 600yards SE of Fitzclarence Farm at the junction of the Wulvestraat near to the Menin Road. They relieved the 8 Bn King’s Royal Rifles. During the relief there was a bombardment of heavy artillery fire. Casualties were ORs 11 KIA, 29 wounded, 1 missing, and 1 officer killed – Second Lieutenant CW Jeffreys (CWGC). The battalion spent the next 5 days in the support line assigned as ration carrying parties taking supplies from Clapham Junction (Map B) up to the front. During the whole time there was frequent shelling with HE and gas. Enemy aircraft were also active – in one instance an enemy aircraft was shot down and crashed near to Fitzclarence Farm (Map A) – the pilot and observer were killed and were buried near the crash site. On 21 October the battalion moved up into the front line. Again, there was frequent shelling. They were relieved on 24 October and moved back to Berthen. Casualties over the whole tour, in addition to those above were ORs 19 KIA 74 wounded.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view, centres on location of 5 Bn KSLI HQ 16 October 1917.
References and Sources WAR DIARY 5KSLI 2 page 29. History KSLI page 161.
B&O 1917. Third Ypres. Menin Road. 5 Bn KSLI. 10-24 October 1917.