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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Ernest Patrick Joseph Last Name: CONNOR
Date of Death: 23/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Kentish Town
Rank: Lance Sergeant Unit: Irish Guards1
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


67, Lady Margaret Road, Kentish Town


First Battle of Ypres

Between 21st October and 22nd November, 1914 a desperate fight took place around the Belgium city of Ypres, the first of three major battles that were to be fought there during the course of the war. British troops entered Ypres in October. The 1st and 2nd Divisions plus the 3rd Cavalry Division had made their way up from the Aisne as part of the “Race to the Sea”, whilst the 7th Division came west to Ypres after Antwerp had fallen. The Germans knew that Ypres was the gateway to the Channel ports and that these were vital to Britain’s war effort so they poured reinforcements into the area. The fighting fell into three distinct battles; the Battle of Langemarck, 21-24 October, the Battle of Gheluvelt, 29-31 October and the Battle of Nonne Bosschen, 11 November. Ypres did not fall to the Germans but its defence during these two months resulted in the destruction of much of the old regular British Army.

On 20th October the 1st Irish Guards battalion of 4 Brigade, 2nd Division left their billets in Boeschepe and moved to a position east of St Jean in the Ypres salient where they entrenched. On the following day they moved to a position two miles west of Zonnebeke. Here they again entrenched and there followed two days of hard fighting until they fell back to Zillebeke on 23rd October, the day on which Ernest Connor was killed.

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