The 2nd Battle of Ypres
Diary of a Canadian Soldier
April 22nd, 1915
Just as the sun was setting, I saw a cloud of gas and a weird light coming over to us. I could recognize the smell as soon as it hit me. It was chlorine gas that was making its way towards our Canadian troops. I knew it was the Germans who unleashed another gas attack on Ypres. The gas was quickly over our heads and we tried to rush out of the area as quickly as possible. The gas had an effect on our troops right away. In around 10-20 minutes, some of the guys were choking, coughing and spluttering. Some of them collapsed on the ground and I saw this with my own eyes. (Veterans Affair Canada)
Then, I saw the Germans come over the trenches and hills towards us. They came in a massive hoard and in huge waves. Sergeant Bill Aldred was a machine gun sergeant. He used a heavy Vickers machine gun to now down charging enemies. The Germans, also widely called "huns" dealt a large number of casualties. Later in the evening.... Our troops needed back up in order to fight the Germans. We called on the Durhams to help us, but they all got gunned down before they even made it to the line. This was due to them having to come over without any obstacles or barriers to take cover. Therefore they were wide open targets for the Germans. (Canadian Encyclopedia)
I managed to escape the gas clouds and keep on fighting, although some of my buddies weren't too lucky. I lost so many of my beloved ones and I could not forgive those who killed them. I had to stay in the same trenches and fight through this whole thing in the same position. This was because we were getting support troops coming from the left and right and I was in the middle so I didn't need to move.
April 25th, 1915
After about three days of intense, nose to the grindstone warfare, our troops and I have succeeded in protecting Ypres from being German territory. We achieved defensive success. However, it came at a cost of around 6,000 casualties with about 2,000 of the men dead. This was a long 4 day battle which was very tough to hold on to and not let the Germans enter and rush forward to us. I am proud of our Canadian soldiers and myself for the effort we put into stopping the enemies from completely demolishing us. (Archives Canada)
- Canadian Soldier
"Ypres 1915." Veterans Affairs Canada. Government of Canada, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/canada/canada4>.
"Second Battle of Ypres." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/battle-of-ypres/>.
"Firstworldwar.com." First World War.com. First World War, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/ypres2.htm>.
"Common Menu Bar Links." ARCHIVED. Library and Archives Canada, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2015. <http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/first-world-war/interviews/index-e.html>.