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Railway Chateau Cemetery, Belgium Railway Chateau Cemetery, Belgium
First Name: Frank Last Name: MAY
Date of Death: 16/11/1914 Lived/Born In: City
Rank: Private Unit: Grenadier Guards2
Memorial Site:

Current Information:


245, Katherine Buildings, Cartwright Street, Minories

Railway Chateau Cemetery, Belgium


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 14th November, 1914, the 2nd Grenadier Guards of 4 Brigade, 2nd Division moved from Hooge and took over some trenches in Klein Zillebeke where they remained until relieved four days later. Apart from some very cold weather and snow the battalion had to contend with persistent shell fire and it is likely that it was this that caused the death of Frank May on 16th November.

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