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First Name: Geoffrey Malcolm Last Name: BENTLEY
Date of Death: 29/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Chelsea
Rank: Captain Unit: Northamptonshire1
Memorial Site:

Current Information:


3, Elm Park Mansions, Chelsea

Ypres Town Cemetery


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.

On 22nd October, a  German attack in the afternoon against 1st Division was unsuccessful except in the centre where 1st Cameron Highlanders were in a rough semi circle north of the Kortekeer Cabaret. The 1st Northamptonshire battalion of 2 Brigade, 1st Division was sent up from divisional reserve to fill the gap on the left between 1st Cameron Higlanders and 1st Scots Guards but by the time they arrived, 1st Scots Guards had managed to fill the gap by extending their right.  1st Northamptonshire then attempted to retake the Cabaret and the lost trenches.  One company got close but over unknown ground in the dark it proved an impossible task. They remained in these trenches dealing with attack after attack and a constant artillery bombardment until relieved by French troops on the evening of 24th October. One of their casualties during their stay here was Geoffrey Bentley who died from wounds on 29th October. after having been shot and wounded by a sniper on 24th October.

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