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KITCHENER’S WOOD

A recent photograph taken from the memorial erected to commemorate those lost on 22nd April 1915 during the German breakthrough on that date in which, for the first time, poison gas was used. Kitchener’s Wood marked one of the limits of the break through on that day.

Blunden’s battalion was amongst those detailed to take part in the "Flanders Offensive" (7th June –10th November 1917), the 11th Royal Sussex being part of the attack on St.Julien which lies about a mile to the east of Kitchener’s Wood. The attack was scheduled to take place on 31st July 1917. Somewhere about here Blunden and his friend Tice stood looking over the trench’s parapet towards the German front line. Tice had grown quite excited and joyful "at the recognition of "Kitchener’s Wood in the background". Later Tice went along one trench and Blunden along another "with some absurd familiarity as - see you in the morning, old boy." Tice was killed shortly afterwards.

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