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 KEN BLAKE  - INTERVIEW HYLDA AND MAURICE MASLEN'S STORY. CHRISTMAS DAY AT AMBALA, INDIA HYLDA AND MAURICE MASLEN'S STORY. THE AIRFIELD AT AMBALA, INDIA ERIC DOWNING AND ROLAND LEMASSON ERIC DOWNING'S STORY. A SHERMAN TANK EQUIPPED AS A FLAIL TANK DOUGLAS GOULBORN ON THE COMMANDANT DROGOU DOUGLAS GOULBORN'S SHIP, THE COMMANDANT DROGOU

Private 266041 Reginald Walter Ambrose

1st Hertfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 31st July 1917

Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Ambrose, of 16, Austins Place, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Panel 56.

Residence: Hemel Hempstead.

Enlisted: Hertford.

Private 267013 Frederick A. Leach

1st Hertfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 31st July 1917

Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Leach, of 107, Cotterells, Hemel Hempstead.

New Irish Farm Cemetery, XX. A. 19.

Residence: Hemel Hempstead.

Enlisted: Hertford.

Private 270757 Richard Frank Hoar

1st Hertfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 31st July 1917

Son of Richard T. Hoar, of 10, Edmond's Place, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.

Track X Cemetery, E. 30.

Born: Apsley End.

Residence: Hemel Hempstead.

Enlisted: Hemel Hempstead.

The attack was part of preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres under the command of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, who aimed to inflict major losses on the German army.

At 3.50am the battalion moved forward in four lines. Battalion moved forward after capturing enemy lines and moved east of the River Steenbeck. Up until this point, the casualties had been slight but as they proceeded towards the Langemarck line (the main objective) the casualty lists increased as a result of snipers and machine gun fire.

About halfway into the objective, a small group of soldiers came upon a German stronghold, capturing it and killing most of the German soldiers there.

The enemy wire was found to be incredibly thick, the battalion could not get through and suffered “exceptionally heavy” casualties as a result. From the left flank the Germans made a strong counter attack, this left 29 men dead, 5 missing but presumed dead, 132 missing, 68 wounded and missing, 223 wounded and 2 men died of wounds. A lot more men, who had been thought to have been missing or wounded would most likely be dead. As a result, 459 casualties occurred, this was nearly half the battalion. The three men we have studied were not named in the account but we presume they would have died in this catastrophic attack.

Source:

  • 1st Hertfordshire Regiment War Diary, Catalogue Reference: WO 95/2590

By Charlotte Smith and Isabelle England

27th June 2017

 

Reginald Ambrose's name on the Menin Gate

(Photo: Richard Grayson, 1st April 2014.)

 

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