PASSCHENDAELE

Passchendaele, one of the most costly operations in Canadian military history, was fought in the Ypres Salient (26 Oct – 11 Nov, 1917) on a battlefield which was a morass of deep slimy mud, water filled shell craters and dead bodies. For the soldiers of 15th Battalion it was a very different battle experience, one that demanded logistical more than tactical skill, as they undertook a Corps support role along with the other units of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade.Struggling through constant rain, mud and enemy artillery and aerial bombardment, the Highlanders completed road repairs and transported rations, water, ammunition and trench equipment to Front Line units. They also dug artillery gun pits, prepared sandbags to reinforce trenches and provided security for key rear area positions, such as Wurst Farm. However, their greatest contribution to this fight was as stretcher bearers for the wounded, a task which often found them struggling through mud and water for hours to get Canadian casualties to battlefield medical aid stations.Suffering many losses, as in previous engagements, the 15th Battalion earned this Battle Honour performing their support duties to the same high standard as they had their combat tasks in earlier battles.
Period pencil sketch
by Lt Banton 15th Battalion
Captain Richard Austiin Brown MC,
OC No.3 Company 15th Battalion
DOW 14 Nov 1917 Passchendaele
Close-up of the inscription
on Captain Brown’s headstone in
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
Period photograph of the Passchendaele battlefield
Captured German bunker at Passchendaele
where Captain Brown was fatally wounded
by artillery fragments.

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