The First Battle of Ypres, 19 October – 22 November 1914

The struggle for Flanders began in October at Ypres with the cavalry fighting as infantry holding the line at Messines under intense pressure. On one day the Regiment lost fifty per cent in casualties.

The Allies had occupied a salient position around Ypres which sat on the main routes to the Channel Ports. The Germans launched a massive offensive in October 1914 to try and break through the line.

The Regiment was first involved in the area when their Brigade captured the vital hill at Mont des Cats on 13 October.

They later were withdrawn to the Messines Ridge on 20 October where they dug in rapidly and were subjected to constant shelling until relieved on the 22nd.

The Regiment was then sent along with other regiments from their Brigade to patch up the line wherever it looked weakest, reinforcing at Wytchaete, Klein Zillebeke and Zandvoorde before hurriedly sent back to Messines.

There was some rest over Christmas before in February 1915 the Regiment was brought back into the line for the seconds battle of Ypres where the Germans used gas for the first time, in conjunction with their massive assault, but the tenacity of the allies prevented them from gaining much ground.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. The Western Front 1914-18 timeline