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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: William Albert Last Name: LEE
Date of Death: 24/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Stoke Newington
Rank: Private Unit: Dublin Fusiliers2
Memorial Site: 1. Stoke Newington Library 2. Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


Battle of Bellewaarde (24th-25th May, 1915)

The line held by V Corps of the BEF in May 1915, stretched 5 ½ miles around much of the Ypres salient from Hill 60 to the junction with the French at Turco Farm in the north-east and was held from right to left by 83 Brigade, 28th Division, 1st Cavalry Division (1 & 2 Cavalry Brigades astride the Menin Road), 85 Brigade, 28th Division (across the railway and the Zonnebeke road) and then 10 Brigade, 4th Division covering Wieltje and up to Mouse Trap Farm with 12 Brigade beyond.  At 2.45am on 24th May, the Germans opened up a tremendous artillery bombardment on this front followed up by the release of gas in greater quantities than had been seen before with dense gas clouds rising to 40 feet. In some places no-man’s land was very narrow and the defenders had little or no time in which to don their gas masks. The centre of the line held firm but at the two extremities, Mouse Trap farm in the north and Bellewaarde Lake in the south, the enemy broke through. Reserves were called up but despite some hard fighting the losses were not made good and the salient around Ypres was further reduced.

At Mouse Trap Farm there were two platoons of 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers of 10 Brigade, 4th Division holding the front with only a 30 yard wide no-man’s land. By 4am they were very hard pressed. They managed to hold out until noon by which time all their trenches and those of 2nd Royal Irish Regiment, 12 Brigade, 4th Division, on their left, were in German hands and the whole angle of the front had been lost.  This was the second large gap in the British lines.  2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers suffered 583 casualties, most of whom were replacements for the losses of over 500 on 25th April, 1915

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