The First Ypres

After much savage fighting, attack and counter attack, the first battle of Ypres petered out in the bad weather of late November. Three British Divisions and Cavalry had held back five Corps of German’s. The British had sustained 50,000 casualties, dead, wounded and missing. The German plan to reach the ports lay in tatters. They were pushed out to the Passchendaele Ridge. Thus was formed the ‘bulge’ in the opposing lines to the east of Ypres, the ‘Salient’.

Much more fighting was to be seen during the rest of the war, indeed the complete destruction of Ypres by shelling, 2nd Ypres, 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) and 4th Ypres were to follow.

The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the Ypres Salient. The site of the memorial was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men that passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates all those United Kingdom soldiers who died before 16th August 1917 in the Salient and have no known grave. Those who died after this date are commemorated at Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial.
There are 300 + Sheffield men commemorated on the ‘Gate’, from different regiments, on different panels, plus many more hundreds in the cemeteries scattered around Ypres. Perhaps the most important part of the ‘Gate’ from a Sheffield perspective is Panel 47. There are 60 + men from Sheffield of the various regiments of the KOYLI with their names etched in the stone. My great grandmother’s first husband, George William Redfern Glossop being one of them.










© Copyright 2010 - 2021 Dean Hill and Stuart Reeves