Published By Ben Hillidge
GOOGLE MAPS Link centres on Ypres
Ypres is a town in Belgium. Historically it had prospered from the wool trade. Strategically the town’s location controlled the route to the Channel Coast and was an important railhead. The British occupied the town and it was the main entrance into the Ypres Salient. Fighting at Ypres was almost continual through the war with a succession of offensives by the British and Germans – First Ypres, 1914, Second Ypres, 1915, Third Ypres 1917 and, in 1918, the Advance in Flanders and the end of the war.
By the end of November 1914 the mobile war was over and the stalemate of the trenches had arrived. The lines of defences would become ‘The Western Front’, stretching from the Belgium coast to the Alps in Switzerland. At Ypres the line of trenches looped around the town forming a salient. The British held the town and the neighbouring lower ground. The Germans held the encircling heights and ridges – Messines, Passchendaele and (Pilkem) – which would be the battlegrounds for the later Second and Third Battles of Ypres. The superior German positions gave them control over the entire ‘loop’ and they could bombard the British positions from the north, east and south. The ‘Ypres Salient’ soon gained a deserved evil reputation amongst the troops. There would be a steady, bloody drain of casualties and over the course of the war many Oswestrians would fall in the Ypres Salient
Potijze & Wieltje.
Kemmel & La Clytte.
Hooge Crater, Menin Road.
Battle of Loos – Diversionary action at Railway Wood, Ypres. 25 September 1915.
January – February
La Belle Alliance.
Ridge Wood and Bois Carre – St. Eloi. 7 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. May 1916. (2 MotG)
March – April 1917.
Advance in Flanders
B&O ALL YEARS. Ypres