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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Frederick Last Name: BIGNELL
Date of Death: 24/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Poplar
Rank: Private Unit: Middlesex3
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Born-Bow

Battle of St Julien, 24 April – 4 May 1915

Spurred on by the success of their gas attack on 22nd April, the Germans struck again two days later on the northern sector of the Ypres salient at St. Julien.  Once more chlorine gas was used and despite a resolute defence the British and Canadians were pushed back and St Julien was lost. For nearly two weeks the fighting continued on this front. The Germans persisted with their attacks, the British fought desperate rearguard actions and launched many counter attacks but gradually they were pushed further and further back. Eventually, during the night of 3rd & 4th May the British forces were withdrawn from their forward positions and took up a new defensive line closer to Ypres.

During 22nd and 23rd April, two companies 3rd Middlesex 85 Brigade  28th Division, had been in the thick of the fighting during the first German gas attack whilst the other two companies had been kept back to guard a bridge near St. Jean. On 24th April the battalion was brought back together and when the second German offensive began on, 3rd Middlesex were so heavily shelled that they were forced to move out into nearby fields and seek shelter in shallow trenches.

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