Edward Leslie Blaxall

Informatie over geboorte

Westport, West Coast, Nieuw-Zeeland

Algemene Informatie


Informatie legerdienst

New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service nummer:
Dienstneming datum:
Dienstneming plaats:
Dunedin, Otago, Nieuw-Zeeland
 —  Otago Regiment, 2nd Bn.  (Laatst gekende eenheid)

Informatie over overlijden

Datum van overlijden:
Plaats van overlijden:
Wolf Farm, Passendale, België
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Poelcapelle British Cemetery
Plot: XXIX
Rij: F
Graf: 7

Points of interest 3

#1 Geboorteplaats
#2 Dienstneming plaats
#3 Plaats van overlijden (bij benadering)

Mijn verhaal

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.

Bronnen 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.
Gebruikte bronnen
" The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account ", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 115-116.
Gebruikte bronnen
Verdere verwijzing
Auckland Cenotaph
Gebruikte bronnen
Gebruikte bronnen
The Long Long Trail
Verdere verwijzing