Edward Leslie Blaxall

Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Westport, West Coast, New Zealand

Informations générales


Informations service militaire

New Zealand
Force armée:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation date:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
 —  Otago Regiment, 2nd Bn.  (Dernière unité connue)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Wolf Farm, Passchendaele, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Poelcapelle British Cemetery
Parcelle: XXIX
Rangée: F
Tombe: 7

Points d'intérêt 3

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement
#3 Lieu du décès (approximatif)

Mon histoire

Private Edward Leslie Blaxall ( 2nd Bn. Otago Regiment, 2nd New Zealand Brigade, New Zealand Division ) is presumed to be killed in action on the 12th of October 1917, the day that the First Battle of Passchendaele took place and that is known for the Tragedy of the Bellevue Spur.

The day before the attacks, on the 11th of October, the 2nd New Zealand Brigade ( N.Z. Bde. ) relieved the 148th Bde. ( 49th Division ) at 2 a.m.. Once the relieve took place, the New-Zealanders got the instructions for the upcoming battle on the 12th of October.

There were three objectives : the first being the Red Line ( approx. Friesland Farm – Source Wood ), the second being the Blue Line ( approx. Graf Farm – Goudberg Copse ) and the final being the Green Line ( approx. Exert Copse - Vocation Farm ). The main goal was to reach to northern outskirts of the Passchendaele village.

The 2nd N.Z. Bde. was to attack with the 2nd Bn. Otago Regiment, the 1st Bn. Otago Regiment and the 1st Bn. Canterbury Regiment. The 2nd Bn. Canterbury Regiment was in reserve. The three objectives were allotted in this order.

The attack began at 5.25 a.m. with the 2nd Otago’s positioned at the front and thus leading the assault. On their right was the Ravebeek, that could be used as a guideline to reach Passchendaele. But shortly after, they got into difficulties because of uncut wire entanglements that lay in front of the jumping off line. This was because the opening barrage didn’t cause much damage and therefore was negligible. The only gap in the wire was at a single point on the sunken Graventafel Road. While some soldiers tried to cut some paths through the wires, many soldier went to that single open point, which turned out to be a death trap. The area of the Bellevue Spur was overloaded with German defences and pillboxes. German machineguns mowed the Otago’s down and caused many casualties.
The other battalions faced the similar problems, so they also couldn’t get any further and failed to reach the Red Line. The 12th of October 1917 will be remembered as one of the most unsuccessful days in the history of the New Zealand Army.

Somewhere during these attacks Private Blaxall got wounded. How and where he got these injuries remains unknown. Later that day, he was reported as wounded and missing in action.
After the war Private Blaxall’s body was found east of Wolf Farm, close to Wolf Copse ( 28.NE.D.4.b.0.0. ). The exact circumstances on how he ended up at Wolf Copse aren’t clear. We presume that he got lost in the chaos and ended up at Wolf Copse, where he got wounded and possibly died.

Private Edward Leslie Blaxall now rests at Poelcapelle British Cemetery.

Sources 6

" The Official History of the Otago Regiment N.Z.E.F. in the Great War 1914-1918 ", Byrne A.E., Dunedin, Wilkie & Co Ltd., pg. 207 - 228.
Sources utilisées
" The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account ", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 115-116.
Sources utilisées
Autre référence
Auckland Cenotaph
Sources utilisées
Sources utilisées
The Long Long Trail
Autre référence