The Black Watch at Ypres 1914

This memorial to the Black Watch commemorates the battle known as ‘Nonne Boschen’ (Nun’s Wood) on 11 November 1914. The Prussian Guard together with the 54th Reserve Division had been ordered to take Polygon Wood. The barrage began at 0630. At 0900 German troops advanced on a nine mile front in mist and rain. Across the line the attack faltered apart from a gap between the southern end of Polygon Wood and Nun’s Wood. A company of Royal Engineers with forty members of the Black Watch had just completed a strong point here. This was merely a trench inside a cottage garden with a few strands of barbed wire. When the Guards attacked the British troops opened up such an effective fire that the Germans broke formation. With the help of divisional artillery they were stopped and eventually beaten back. The action of the Black Watch in preventing any breakthrough has been remembered here with this fighting figure.

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