Profile Page

Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Walter Frederick Last Name: COX
Date of Death: 25/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Cubitt Town
Rank: Private Unit: East Surrey2
Memorial Site: 1. Cubitt Town, All Saints 2. Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Age-22

Born-Cubitt Town

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 2 weeks the fighting continued on this front. The Germans persisted with their attacks, the British fought desperate rear guard 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 Eventually, during the night of 3rd & 4th May the British forces were withdrawn from their forward positions and took up a new defensive line closer to Ypres.

2nd East Surrey, 85 Brigade, 28th Division had moved to the Zonnebeke area on 10th April, 1915. After an initial tour they moved back into the front line on 18th April and at 6.30pm on 22nd April, following the first German gas attack, their trenches were heavily shelled, killing some men sheltering in them. The shelling continued the next day, 23rd April, and that evening the Germans launched an infantry attack which was repelled, but not without loss. On 24th April a number of trench mortars opened up on the trenches held by 2nd East Surrey and kept up a destructive fire all day, inflicting great damage and resulting in 50 casualties, including 11 killed.

On 25th April the main German attack fell on the spur between the main Ypres ridge and a stream called the Strombeek, where 2nd East Surrey and 3rd Royal Fusiliers were in the line. It started at 5am with an artillery bombardment. Shrapnel swept the bare slopes for 4 hours after which came gas and high explosive. At 1pm, from trenches only 70 yards away the German attacked the right of 2nd East Surrey, on a ¼ mile stretch between the top of the ridge and the railway cutting.  They broke in at several places but elsewhere they were either captured or driven off.  In the centre of the line a company of 8th Middlesex moved up in support but the Germans remained in occupation of 60 yards of breastworks on the left where all the officers had been killed.  Two attempts to dislodge them (at midnight and at 8.30am on the 26th) failed despite the help of two companies of 2nd Shropshire Light Infantry.  To prevent further German progress a trench was dug round three sides of the captured line. 2nd East Surrey suffered over 200 casualties on this day.

« Back to Search Results
If you think any of the information shown here is incorrect, Click Here to submit your amends and comments

Share

twitter icon
Copyright 2018 London War Memorial