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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Michael William Last Name: DWYER
Date of Death: 02/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Marylebone
Rank: Private Unit: Dorset1
Memorial Site: Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Age-37

15, Great Chesterfield Street, Marylebone

Born-Wandsworth

Hill 60 stands about 3 miles south-east of Ypres and because it offered a valuable vantage point it was the scene of much fierce fighting during the 1st World War. On the 1st May, 1915, 1st Dorset, 15 Brigade, 5th Division were holding the line there when, after a severe bombardment, the Germans released gas along a ¼ mile front.  It moved thickly and quickly and 1st Dorset were taken by surprise.  As soon as the gas reached the Dorset line the Germans opened rifle fire and then attacked both flanks with bombing parties whilst at the same their artillery laid a barrage on the approaches to the Hill to prevent reinforcements moving up. Some of 1st Dorset, although suffering from the effects of gas, jumped up onto the firestep and opened rapid fire which allowed the supports, 1st Devonshire and some of 1st Bedfordshire, to charge through the gas cloud and drive back the Germans.  This was a first inasmuch the use of gas was not successful but nevertheless there were heavy casualties for 1st Dorset 90 of whom died from gas poisoning whilst in the trenches.  Of the 207 who reached the dressing stations, 46 died almost immediately and 12 after much suffering. Battalion record keeping meant that many of these deaths were  recorded as the 2nd May.

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