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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: George William Last Name: EVANS
Date of Death: 15/11/1914 Lived/Born In: Camden Town
Rank: Private Unit: South Wales Borderers1
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:


22, Wellington Street, Camden Town


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 South Wales Borderers battalion of 3 Brigade, 1st Division were in the thick of the fighting at Gheluvelt from 30th October to 1st November and their losses were many. Even so there were no replacements to relieve them so, along with the other greatly reduced battalions they had to take up take up fresh positions and keep the line intact. On 9th November 1st South Wales Borderers were in reserve trenches in the wood south of Hooge before moving, that evening, to the front line at Zillebeke. They remained here under constant and sometimes heavy fire until they were relieved on the night of 14/15th November when George Evans was killed on.

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