Essex Yeomanry - Ypres Battle of Frezenberg Ridge 1915

Essex Yeomanry were involved in the Battle for Frezenberg Ridge on May 13 1915. This battle took place as part of the 2nd battle of Ypres. Following three weeks of heavy fighting which included the use of chlorine gas the Essex Yeomanry were moved into a support position at the strategically important Frezenberg Ridge.

Their main task was to dig a communications trench to ease communications between the front line and GHQ.

At 4am the Germans started a bombardment which lasted 4 hours and damaged the defensive trenches held by the second Life Guards, Leicestershire Yeomanry and the third Dragoon Guards.

The German offensive took the trenches held by the lifeguards and desperate fighting took place.

Reinforcements were called for and the Essex Yeomanry, The Horse Guards and the tenth Hussars charged the trenches and drove back the German offensive.


Killed in Action

Major A Roddick

Lieutenant G S Johnson

2nd Lieutenants A G Swire and G P N Reid

Sergeants D Ledger, L C Deakin, S Newman, A Pearce, J W Draper and T Clark

Corporals T Allen and E F Bird

Lance Corporal F M Seabrook

Privates F E bell, J Truefit, C Taylor, B Snell, E P Propert, O Askew, B W Blencoe, F J Deighton, W E Gardiner, J Petchey, R C Ridgewell, H C Smith, R Lagden, H D McTurk, A T South, A J Wild, W E Jones, D H Taylor and D W Christie.

Wounded and then Reported Missing

Lt Colonel E Deacon

Sergeant L E Butcher

Corporal E E Glew

Privates S Fairhead, J W Taylor, C H Cattell, C E Green, B W Beggin, W Nunn, S E Newman, H E Mansfield, B Mann, R Millar, C H Brazier and J Barker.

Reported Missing

Sergeant C E Brock

Privates L A Hill, E J Prime, A J Mills, J Millbank, H G Wright, J Green, E S Diggens and H W Cunningham


Captain A R Steele

Lieutenants V T C Vine and R Edwards

2nd Lieutenant H P Holt

SSM H H Newman

Sergeants H Mann, H D Pritchard, F B Speakman, P Hoare, R C Packer, E W Walker and J H Moody

Corporals K Grant, A Blyth, W J Hart, E Appleton, G R Williams, S Brown and E Ridgewell

Lance Corporals W G Baker, W Chapman, Croxon, G J Wyatt and G C Deverell

Privates  J C Finney, W T Dunmore, L H Jenkyn, J L Hallett , W Connolly, W Last, G Austin, A Smith, E G Newcombe, W H Pennell, P D Manning, H W Godfrey, K Holland, P Harvey, A Ball, L Smith, N Leeder, N J Cunningham, E G Moss, G W Fox, H W Hutton, T W harvey, E Pegrum, G J Adams, E D Dorrington, W Butcher, W Joyce, J Franks, C Errington, R Hall, H Waller, G A Rivers, F C Woods, W Beeney, H Richards, C A Curtis, H Taylor, R C Caines, G Scrivener, R G Townsend, H E Thompson, H W Swann, E H Finch, A J Bond, G Cottee, W Day, C A Robins, J Sparrow, J J Taylor, W J Revell, A J Wyatt, J S Rust, D W Steward, A E Brice, W T Bentley, C J Curtis, J W Jordan, O T Sutton, E E Minns, P J Dyer, E W Bewers, O Hughes, J E Banks, W T Gowlett, A Baynes, H R Rowell, R Robinson, H H Lang, D Hurst, M D Free, R Clare, F F Rayner, R P Baker, C J Bruce, J H Sergeant, C H Veal, and H R Whent


The thirty one members of the Yeomanry, listed below, were mentioned in the Regimental War Diary for their conduct during this battle.

Major A Roddick for the pace and dash with which he led the attack

Captain E A Ruggles-Brise, Lt R A Thompson , Sergeant Howard, Lance Corporal Wardill and Private Smy for their gallantry in holding an advanced position in some ruined houses until dark after they had been cut off.

Corporal Frost, Privates Schwier, Johnson and Dean for stretcher bearing under heavy fire.

Privates Anning and Wier for bravery and coolness in action.

Privates Holland and Bates for useful reconnaissance and coolness in action.

Gordon Grant of Burnham is mentioned by the General for coolness and bravery under fire.

Sergeants Hodge, Pritchard, Ledger  and Walker

Corporals Bird and Fred Bosworth

Lance-Corporals Turnell, Seabrook and Rex

Privates Cornell, Holton, Manning, Medlicott, F Smart, Ernest Skinner, A D Tompkins and Anning.