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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Alfred Last Name: BEVAN
Date of Death: 14/08/1917 Lived/Born In: St Luke's
Rank: Rifleman Unit: London6
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


5, Radnor Street, St Luke's


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.

47th Division had not been involved in the early fighting of Third Ypres but the 6th London battalion of 140 Brigade had moved up to reserve positions in Ridge Wood on 8th August, 1917 before moving back to Kempton Camp in Westoutre on 12th August. This camp was some miles behind the front line and the battalion diary makes no mention of any casualties from either long range artillery or enemy aircraft activity on 14th August when Alfred Bevan was killed. It could have been that he was attached to another unit at the time or that his date of death was incorrectly recorded.

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