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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Richard Last Name: HUBBARD
Date of Death: 21/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Chelsea
Rank: Private Unit: Royal West Surrey (Queens)2
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:



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 21st October, in the face of a determined German attack, a gap developed between the left of 7th Division held by the 2nd Royal West Surrey (Queens) battalion, and the right of I Corps. Inevitably the Germans attacked this gap with violent enfilade fire from Passchendaele and their infantry got to within 200 yards of 22 Brigade.  1st Irish Guards were sent to fill this gap which they did but the left of 22 Brigade was still in an exposed salient and under enfilade fire from the ridge north-west of Zonnebeke. At 5.30 pm this endangered flank of 22 Brigade was withdrawn from the salient and joined on direct with I Corps through Zonnebeke.  From there the brigade front ran south-east past the front of Polygon Wood to connect with 21 Brigade at Reutel. During the course of a day of heavy fighting, 2nd Queens had over 200 casualties one of whom was Richard Hubbard.

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