Informations sur naissance

Informations service militaire

Irlande du Nord, Royaume-Uni
Force armée:
British Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Belfast, Antrim, Irlande, Royaume-Uni
 —  Royal Irish Rifles, 1st Bn.  (Dernière unité connue)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Westhoek, Zonnebeke, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Parcelle: XXIX
Rangée: B
Tombe: 19

Distinctions et médailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points d'intérêt 3

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

Mon histoire

Rifleman John Farrell served in the Royal Irish Rifles 1st Battalion, part of the 25th Brigade, of the 8th Division.
On the 31st of July 1917 the 8th Division participated in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, the first phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. It attacked at 3.50 a.m. with two Brigades, the 23rd and the 24th Brigades; and the 25th brigade in support. The 25th Brigade had to capture the last objective and was to pass through the 23rd and 24th Brigades on the Westhoek Ridge. Its objective, the Green Line, was a line running from the west of Zonnebeke village to the western Edge of Polygon Wood. The 25th Brigade attacked with three Battalions in the line. The 2nd Lincolshire on the right, 1st Royal Irish Rifles in the centre, and the 2nd Rifle Brigade on the left.
At 6.50 a.m. it was reported that the 23rd and 24th brigades had reached their objectives, and the 1st Royal Irish Rifles moved onward. While advancing they met only occasional shell fire. The Battalion reached the Westhoek Ridge at 8.30 a.m. It soon became clear that the second objective, the Black Line, had not been taken, but the attack went through accordingly. When the new barrage started around 10.10 a.m. the 1st Royal Irish Rifles advanced over the Westhoek Ridge.
The barrage had failed to silince all the German machine guns and casualties kept stacking up in the first minutes of the attack. On the right the advance of the 30th Division had been checked, which exposed the right flank of the 25th Brigade. Consequently the advancing troops met heavy machine gun fire from the exposed right flank. Attempts to rush the German machine gun positions proved fruitless and the men were ordered to fall back to the Black Line on the Westhoek Ridge. The center Company of the Battalion had gone as far as the Hanebeek Brook, but they had become isolated and were also forced to withdraw to the original line.
Several local German counter attacks were fend off before midday. At 3 p.m. the Germans launched a huge counterattack. The Lincolnshire and Irish Rifles bared the brunt of it and fighting erupted along their line. Several sections fell back, but the men were rallied and the Germans were eventually driven back out of the line.
The 1st Royal Irish Rifles consolidated the line and remained in the frontline at Westhoek Ridge till they were relieved at 11 p.m.
Rifleman John Farrell was killed on the 31st of July 1917. He was initially buried on the eastern slope of the Westhoek Ridge, close to the hamlet of Westhoek. He possibly fell while advancing to the Hanebeek or while pulling back to the Westhoek Ridge. His remains were exhumed after the war and were interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, polygon Wood.

Sources 6

"The History of the First Seven Battalions: The Royal Irish Rifles in The Great War", Falls C., Gale & Polden LTD., Aldershot, 1925, pg. 101-103.
Sources utilisées
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 23-25.
Sources utilisées
Autre référence
Sources utilisées
The Long, Long Trail
Sources utilisées
War Diary Royal Irish Rifles 1st Bn.
Autre référence