So That’s Where They Are…

I had wondered for a long time why there were so few graves in the cemeteries near Railway Wood where known 2nd KSLI casualties were.

It seems that most of the boys I saw die were never recovered.  Their names are on the Menin Gate now, mainly on panels 47 and 49.

2nd KSLI doesn’t seem to have taken casualties as heavy as the 5th battalion (the cemeteries on the Salient are full of the 5th KSLI), but there seems to be a large proportion of both battalions listed among the missing.

A few seem to have died over the summer of 1915 at hospitals in England as well; CWGC lists a lot of them there.

The number of names from earlier in April and May of 1915 on the Menin Gate also seems to confirm another one of my memories: that we arrived at Ypres some time before the Battle of Bellewaerde Ridge.  I still have not found anything in the records that indicates when exactly we arrived at the Salient but I have vivid enough recollections of Ypres and its defenses that it must have been fairly early.

I’m speechless.  I had thought- I had hoped– that we hadn’t taken that many losses, or that we were just a reserve billeted in Armentieres, sent in to defend the ridge.  It seems we were there a long time after all, long enough to be killed off in droves with most having no known grave.

One more reason to attend the Last Post, I suppose. 


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