Benjamin Chipchase Clayton

Informationen zu Geburt

Allgemeine Informationen


Informationen zum Armeedienst

England, Vereinigtes Königreich
British Expeditionary Force
 —  West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own), 2nd Bn.  (Letzte bekannte Einheit)

Informationen zu Tod

Zonnebeke Redoubt, Belgien
Im Kampf gefallen


Tyne Cot Memorial
Tafel: 42

Auszeichnungen und Orden 3

British War Medal
Military Cross
Victory Medal

Punkte von Interesse 1

#1 Geburtsort

Meine Geschichte

Captain Benjamin Chipchase Clayton served in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 2nd Battalion, part of the 23rd Brigade, of the 8th Division. The Division participated in the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele.

It attacked in the direction of Zonnebeke on the 16th of August 1917 with the 23rd Brigade on the left of the Divisional front and the 25th Brigade on the right. The attack of the 23rd was carried by the 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment on the right and the 2nd Middlesex on the left, with their left flank on the Ypres-Roulers Railway; the 2nd Scottish Rifles were in support. The 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment advanced in two waves on a three company frontage. “A” company on the right, “B” in the centre and “C” on the left. “D” company supplied a platoon of moppers up, to clear pockets of resistance after the initial waves had passed. Their objective, the Green Line, was the Anzac ridge West of the village of Zonnebeke.

At zero hour, 4.45 a.m. a barrage was put down. It was immediately replied by the German artillery, which shelled the line. The men followed the barrage closely without encountering serious resistance. The Battalion encountered two machine guns, still hot from firing, in Hanebeek Wood. Their crew, either killed or wounded, were lying about. Victims by the barrage. The advance was carried on to Anzac Ridge. The 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, reached the ridge, the Green Line. Notwithstanding reaching their objective, the situation became dire. The line was very weak and no troops were seen on either flank of the Battalion. The advance of the 2nd Middlesex was checked, due to heavy machine gun fire from the railway embankment and from Potsdam, a German stronghold on the other side of the Railroad.

The German machine gunners on the left started targeting the 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment and the line began to withdraw. At 9.30 a.m. large numbers of Germans were seen coming down along the ridge. This full scale counterattack forced the Battalion back. Posts were formed up just East of Hanebeek Wood. S.O.S. flares were sent up from Battalion Headquarter, as the German counterattack threatened to break the lines. No response what so ever took place for about 45 minutes, when a very ragged barrage was put down on the Anzac Ridge. This didn’t stop the Germans and at 3.30 a.m. the Germans launched a new counterattack on the Battalion’s right. They threatened to encircle the posts at Hannebeek Wood and the posts were ordered to retire to the West bank of the Hanebeek. S.O.S. signals and pigeons were sent up and another feeble barrage was put down. It was followed by a heavy barrage all along the ridge, which halted the German counterattacks at 5 p.m.
The Battalion held the line and was relieved by the Scottish rifles at 11 p.m. The attack had been an utter failure. Although the West Yorkshire Regiment 2nd Battalion had reached the Green Line on Anzac ridge, they had been forced back to their jump-off line along with the rest of the 8th Division.

According to the West Yorkshire Regiment 2nd Battalion’s War Diary Captain Benjamin Chipchase Clayton was wounded and went missing during the attack on the 16th August 1917. He was possibly wounded near Zonnebeke Redoubt on the Anzac Ridge, where “C” Company was positioned when they came under heavy machine gun fire from Potsdam. He was probably too heavily wounded and wasn’t able to fall back. His remains were never recovered, as the Battalion had been forced to withdraw. He is now remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial Wall.

Quellen 5

"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 46-47.
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The Long, Long Trail
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War Diary West Yorkshire Regiment 2nd Bn.
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