Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source3
Casualty list for the 57th Wilde's Rifles after an attack in May 1915
(Catalogue ref: WO 95/3923)
  • This source is a list of casualties suffered in the second Battle of Ypres between April – May 1915. It forms part of a war diary for the 57th Regiment, called Wilde's Rifles, which was part of the Ferozepore Brigade. These were Indian troops. A "war diary" was an official, day-by-day account of what happened to a fighting unit such as a battalion or a brigade.
  • On 26 April 1915, the Allied generals sent men over the top to try to reclaim the land lost to the German advances earlier in the week.
  • The war diary for this unit shows that it was a day of confusion, danger, heroism and suffering. The men attacked over ground that had very little cover. They faced rapid fire from artillery, rifles and machine guns and found themselves choking under a poisonous yellow-green cloud of chlorine gas.
  • The list makes grim reading, but it is important to recognise that casualties did not mean the same thing as 'killed'. It might also mean 'missing'.
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