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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Albert Last Name: CLEMENTS
Date of Death: 19/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Lambeth
Rank: Private Unit: Royal West Surrey (Queens)2
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:



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.


By the middle of October, 7th Division was in the Ypres area and preparing to advance on Menin from Zonnebeke. When 22 Brigade moved forward on 18th October, the 2nd Royal West Surrey (Queens) battalion were in reserve at Dadizeele and later came into action around Ledeghem. But the Germans too were advancing in large numbers and 22 Brigade fell back to Zonnebeke. The battalion diary entry for 19th October recorded that they were busy improving defences but makes no mention of casualties so it is not known how Albert Clements was killed, but the likelihood is that it was as a result of shell fire.

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