Poison Gas

The German Army uses poison gas for the first time at the Second Battle of Ypres.

In April the Second Battle of Ypres began. During the battle the German Army used a new weapon - poison gas. The Allied soldiers weren't prepared and had to protect themselves from the gas however they could. One option was to cover their faces with a handkerchief soaked in water or urine. About 10,000 soldiers came into contact with the gas and about half of them died within ten minutes. Despite this, the German's weren't able to capture Ypres and the battle ended in May.

Just over 500 men from the Monmouthshire Regiment fought during the Second Battle of Ypres. Only 129 survived. Only 129 survived. Captain Harold Thorne Edwards, from Mynyddislwyn, Monouthshire fought at the Second Battle of Ypres. As German soldiers surrounded his Monmouthshire Regiment he ordered them to stand their ground as they faced the onslaught by shouting ‘Surrender, surrender and be damned’.

A gas attack pictured from above