Profile Page

Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Bertie Robert Last Name: FREESTONE
Date of Death: 07/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Westbourne Park
Rank: Private Unit: Middlesex3
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


70, Kensal Road, Westbourne Park


Battle of Frezenberg Ridge (8 May-13 May)

In April 1915 the Germans, using gas for the first time, launched an all out attack on the salient around the Belgian town of Ypres. It became a gargantuan struggle that lasted well into the next month and at the end of it, the salient, though drastically reduced, still stood.

The name is deceptive because the Frezenberg ridge, which lay to the north-east of the town rose to only 50 metres above sea level and was one of a series of low ridges that ran in a generally westerly direction and branched off the main ridge that ran north-easterly from Kemmel to Passchendaele. Nevertheless, it gave a commanding view down on to the town of Ypres and for that reason it was strategically important.

At 7 am on 8th May there was a massive German bombardment on the front held by 28th Division followed by a strong infantry attack. 83 Brigade, in the front line at the time, gave way and they were driven from their positions on the Frezenberg  Ridge.  To try to stem the German advance the 3rd Middlesex battalion from 85 Brigade were ordered to retake some lost trenches around Arret, south of Frezenberg and at 1.50 pm they moved forward but without any support.  At 5 pm “A” Company managed to get a message to battalion HQ that they were holding these trenches and were in touch with troops from the Shropshire Light Infantry and the Yorks & Lancs, but that the shell fire was too heavy to make any further advance. At the same time, “C” Company were partly in trenches and partly along the Zonnebeke railway but had suffered heavy casualties. Without artillery support and with such heavy casualties no further advance could be made  They dug in and stayed the night and the next day, 9th May, on the Verlenhoeken road and in dug-outs near the railway under constant artillery fire. According to records Bertie Freestone was killed on 7th May, when 3rd Middlesex were in billets in Poperinghe preparing to move forward and it is more likely that he was killed on 8th May.

« Back to Search Results
If you think any of the information shown here is incorrect, Click Here to submit your amends and comments
Copyright 2024 London War Memorial