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Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
First Name: Alfred T Last Name: HATTON
Date of Death: 26/08/1917 Lived/Born In: Regents Park
Rank: Private Unit: Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders11
Memorial Site: Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium

Current Information:


177, Stanhope Street, Regents Park


Third Battle of Ypres

This was a campaign fought between July and November 1917 and is often referred to as the Battle of Passchendaele, a village to the north-east of Ypres which was finally captured in November. It was an attempt by the British to break out of the Ypres salient and capture the higher ground to the south and the east from which the enemy had been able to dominate the salient. It began well but two important factors weighed against them. First was the weather. The summer of 1917 turned out to be one of the the wettest on record and soon the battlefield was reduced to a morass of mud which made progress very difficult, if not impossible in places. The second was the defensive arrangements of concrete blockhouses and machine gun posts providing inter-locking fire that the Germans had constructed and which were extremely difficult and costly to counter. For 4 months this epic struggle continued by the end of which the salient had been greatly expanded in size but the vital break out had not been achieved.


On 17th August, 1917, 15th (Scottish) Division began their relief of 16th Division on a 1500 metre front line running north from the Ypres-Roulers railway and on 22nd August they launched an attack on the German line. Although there had been no rainfall for a week, the ground , after the downpour at the beginning of the month, was still extremely muddy and in places like a swamp. Progress was inevitably slow as 45 Brigade attacked at 4.45am with 13th Royal Scots and 11th Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders but many of them managed to reach a German stronghold called Potsdam and Vampir and Borry Farms, both heavily fortified as well. Here they came to grief in the the teeth of German machine-gun fire and although some managed to get beyond these obstacles, they were never seen again. The survivors, and there were not that many, fell back to establish a line from Railway Dump to Beck House where they were called on to beat off two counter attacks that afternoon. At the end of the day a few metres of shell torn, muddy ground had been won but at an appalling cost in casualties. Alfred Hatton of 11th Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders was killed on 25th August but as yet there is no further information concerning his death.

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