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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: George John Last Name: GODIN
Date of Death: 26/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Old Ford
Rank: Rifleman Unit: King's Royal Rifle Corps1
Memorial Site: 1. Bethnal Green, St Barnabas 2. Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


12, Kenilworth Road, Old Ford


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.

The 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps battalion of 6 Brigade, 2nd Division arrived in Ypres on 20th October, 1914 and on 26th October they took part in a divisional attack. It was not a success. They were stopped by heavy enemy fire as they made their way through Polygon Wood which forced them to go to ground and consolidate as best they could. They remained there for the rest of the day. Among their casualties was George Godin.

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