99 Years ago today: the Second Battle of Ypres

Ottawa Citizen May 7, 1915

Ottawa Citizen
May 7, 1915

Today I commemorate my great-grandfather Lance-Corporal Herbert Clifford14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment), who in the early evening of April 22, 1915 was shot and captured while on patrol near the G.H.Q. line.

Herbert would spend the remainder of the war enduring the hardships of a First World War POW camp. The Great War 1914-1918 website contains detailed information on the actions of the 14th Battalion on the evening of April 22nd.

The Canadian’s were bloodied at Second Ypres but they withstood the German advance that poured through the gaping hole created in the front line when nearly 6000 bottles of chlorine gas were released. Although the Germans gained ground in the Ypres salient the town itself did not fall, nor would it for the remainder of the war.

Over the coming weeks Canadian newspapers would be filled with casualty lists containing the names and units of 5,975 dead and wounded soldiers. The clipping from the May 7th edition of the Ottawa Citizen mentions that my great-grandfather was wounded but his fate as a POW was not yet known.

 

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