Archive for May, 2010

Thomas Jenkins

The 2nd Wiltshires were engaged in a so-called “identification” raid near Zillebeke when Pte Thomas Jenkins went missing, never to be seen again.

These raids were so called because they were created to find out such things as enemy morale,troop movements and the results of offensive operations,The only way to do this was for small infantry units to cross No Man’s Land and get “eyes on.”

Thomas Jenkins is now commemorated on Panel 53 of The Menin Gate Memorial.

Menin Gate Memorial,May 2009

Aidan Chavasse

On the night of the 3rd/4th of July the 17th King’s deployed a fighting patrol consisting of Lt Chavasse and 8 men near Zillebeke in the Observatory Ridge Sector.

The regimental history records:

“On nearing the enemy’s wire,the patrol encountered a German patrol,which opened fire on Lt Chavasse and his men.A stiff fight ensued and the patrol withdrew,Lt Chavasse bringing up the rear,but on reaching our lines the officer was found to be missing.A search party was formed,consisting of Capt Draper,Capt Torrey,Capt Chavasse RAMC (brother),Lt Peters and LCpl Dixon and went out into No Mans Land.During the search Capt Torrey was wounded and taken back to the trenches.Lt Peters and LCpl Dixon discovered Lt Chavasse,who had been wounded in the thigh,lying in a shell-hole.Lt Peters returned for assistance but was killed on his way back.Meanwhile LCpl Dixon had bandanged the wounded officer and after awaiting the arrival of the necessary assistance,he too went back to our lines for stretcher bearers to carry Lt Chavasse in.But on returning the party could not find the wounded officer and had to retire on account of dawn breaking.The following night another search was made but no trace was found….”

Aidan Chavasse is listed on Panel 4 and 6 of The Menin Gate Memorial.


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Joseph Ardern

On the 20th of June 1915 the Cheshires had been in front-line positions for 31 days.They had come under many attacks and barrages including by aircraft.In the early morning a low flying enemy aircraft was spotted and the infantrymen,including Joseph, fired pot-shots at it. As Joseph bent down to check or re-load his rifle he was hit in the neck by a projectile from the aircraft.This was believed to be part of a load of 6 inch darts which were known as “Flashettes”.Joseph was killed instantly.

Joseph was taken to a cemetery near Zillebeke where a Wesleyian Chaplain performed the burial duties.However the cemetery,thought to be Tuileries British Cemetery was destroyed in a later German barrage and Joseph’s grave was among the 80 or so lost.He is now listed on Panel 19-22 of The Menin Gate Memorial

Gathering for the Last Post Service,Menin Gate Memorial Memorial

Arthur Henry Webb

On the 24th of June 1917 there occurred one of those strange incidents of war which cannot be reasonably explained. The 8th Buffs were positioned in the Spoilbank area of the Ypres-Comines Canal.As Major Vaughan and Lieutenant Hancock were standing in their trench a shell landed beside them which killed their comrade Lieutenant Millard.Moments later another shell landed right between the two and again they were largely unscathed.

In the same barrage Arthur Webb chanced a quick look over the parapet but was hit in the forehead and killed instantly.Such are the fortunes of war.Arthur Webb is now remembered on Panel 12 and 14 of The Menin Gate Memorial.

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Charles William Ormisher

The Liverpool Scottish were a Territorial Battalion and had been sent to the front in November 1914.They had already fought bravely and tenaciously in places such as St Eloi and Hill 60.As the British drew up plans to attack the Germans at Hooge it was no surprised that they were chosen as one of the lead units.

The well-planned assault soon generated into a shambles,the 90th Brigade losing more than 2000 officers and men.Among those was Charles Ormisher.He had last been seen at 1510 carrying machine gun equipment and ammunition.He approached the 3rd line of German trenches and then was seen no more.

In an extremely rare error his name was overlooked by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.His regimental association took up his case and his name has now been added to Addenda Panel 60 of the Menin Gate Memorial.

War debris at Hooge.

Robert Patrick Gordon

The 4th Gordons were a support unit in the attack on Bellewaerde on 16th June 1915.They were represented by only one company but in 4 days in the trenches it had lost 57 men.

Pat Gordon from Christkirk in Aberdeenshire was one of them. He is listed on Panel 38 of the Menin Gate Memorial.

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