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William Lapere


WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium

41548 Private

1st Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 87th Infantry Brigade, 29th Division

Age: 19

Date of Death: 11.4.18

Buried: Ploegsteert Memorial Panel 5

Family history: Son of James and Alison Lapere, 73 Lumley Street, Grangemouth.

The action leading to his death

Operation Georgette, to the Germans, or the Battle of the Lys to the British, opened on 9 April 1918. This was a large scale battle with a front line of some 37km’s that stretched from the La Bassee Canal almost to the gates of Ypres. Casualties on the British and Commonwealth side totalled 82,000 dead, wounded, missing or taken prisoner.

The British First Army made an urgent request to GHQ for reserves and the 2nd Army, holding the Salient, sent the 29th Division to the Neuf Berquin with both the 87th and 88th Brigades arriving in the area by bus on the 10 April.

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
Linesman Map. Modern map showing the area of the action.

The 1st KOSB War Diary records that they arrived in Neuf Berquin at 11am and remained in their billets until 5pm. During the day a German plane was brought down by fire from ‘D’ Company Lewis gun. Shortly after 5pm the Battalion moved off to take up defensive positions between Estaires and Steenwerck. At 6am on the 11 April the Germans attacked in overwhelming force with ’B’, ’C’, and ’D’ Companies facing the onslaught and ‘A’ company in reserve. With the units on the right falling back these three companies were surrounded and the remnants of the division were compelled to mount a fighting retreat.

Casualties in the battalion were 3 Officers killed, 7 wounded, 5 missing. Other Ranks 17 killed, 207 wounded, 243 missing.

Medals Awarded

Victory Medal, British War Medal

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium

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