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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Michael Last Name: BENNETT
Date of Death: 07/08/1917 Lived/Born In: Kensal Rise
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Dublin Fusiliers2
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Age-20

112, Keslake Road, Kensal Rise

 

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 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 four 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.

16th Division were in reserve when Third Ypres began on 31st July, 1917 and on 5th August, the 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers battalion of  48 Brigade moved forward to the new front line near Frezenberg. They were relieved from these positions on 7th August and as they were making their way back, over the old no-man’s-land they were hit by a barrage of mustard and phosgene gas and suffered many casualties as a result. One  of these was Michael Bennett.

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