• Christina Drummond

Captain Damar Wynyard MID, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment; Second Lieutenant Thomas Norton 4th


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, 274 British servicemen were killed in action during the Great War, 119 of them being remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial. Some of those lost their lives during the Battle of Hill 60, which took place south of Ypres on the Western Front. It was held by the Germans when a huge Allied bombardment commenced on 17th April, saturating the German lines with fire and shrapnel.

The attacking formation consisted of Royal West Kents, 2nd Kings Own Scottish Borders, 2nd Duke of Wellingtons, 1/9th (Queen Victoria Rifles), London's, and 2nd Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. A counter-attack by the Germans inflicted heavy casualties, forcing the British off the hill, although the following day the 2nd Duke of Wellingtons and 2nd Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry re-took the hill, relieved by the 1st Norfolks, 1st Cheshires, 1st Bedfords and 1st Dorsets and the 1/6th (Liverpool Rifles) Kings.

A further German attack was repelled with support from the 1st East Surreys, during which Lieutenant George Roupell won the V.C. – he survived the war and lived until 1974. Three of those who were killed on this day on Hill 60 are:

Captain Damar Wynyard MID, Adjutant, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment – from Weymouth, he was 25 years old and married.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Norton 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Attached to 1st Battalion, The East Srrey Regiment – from Penrhiwardwr, Denbighshire, was 31 years old.

Rifleman Douglas Stevens, Unit: B Company, 1st/9th Battalion, London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) – from Goodmayes in Essex, he was 24 years old.

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