Profile Page

Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Arthur Edward Last Name: BURT
Date of Death: 31/07/1917 Lived/Born In: Richmond upon Thames
Rank: Sergeant Unit: Liverpool (Kings)18
Memorial Site: 1. Richmond upon Thames Memorial 2. Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Born & Resident-Richmond upon Thames


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.

Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31st July-2nd August)

This was the opening attack of Third Ypres and began at 3.50am on 31st July when British and French troops launched their offensive to break out of the Ypres salient. The day had mixed results. To the north the Pilckem Ridge was captured but there was less success further south along the Gheluvelt Ridge, where a combination of stiff German resistance and low cloud, which hindered observation, meant that only the first objectives were captured. Further attempts to push on were stopped in their tracks by specialist German counter attack divisions and resulted in a 70% casualty rate among the British troops. Then in the afternoon, the rain came and under the weight of shells falling on it, the battlefield soon became a quagmire. Over the next two days, suffering the most appalling conditions in the mud and the rain, the troops had to fight off numerous German counter attacks.

At 3.50am on 31st July,1917, 30th Division had the difficult task of advancing across the Gheluvelt plateau with the Menin Road on their left. 21 Brigade attacked on the right of the divisional front with the 2nd Yorkshire and 2nd Wiltshire battalions in front and 19th Manchester and 18th Liverpool (Kings) following in support. They were held up in the assembly trenches by enemy shell-fire and as a result missed their own protective barrage behind which they should have advanced. This caused confusion as they made their forward through Sanctuary Wood, with battalions becoming inter-mixed. On emerging from the wood they were held up by heavy machine-gun fire coming from Stirling Castle. This obstacle was finally overcome when 89 Brigade moved up in support but this marked the limit of the division’s advance. One of the many casualties sustained by 21 Brigade on this day of fierce fighting and constant artillery bombardment was Arthur Burt of 18th Liverpool (Kings) who was killed in action.

« Back to Search Results
If you think any of the information shown here is incorrect, Click Here to submit your amends and comments
Copyright 2024 London War Memorial