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Private Roy Spencer Iliffe

1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, Canadian Infantry
Killed in Action: Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge, France and Flanders, 22nd April 1915, aged 28

Links to Relevant Information

1911 Census and Family History Information

  • Born 6 Jul 1886 and Baptised 3 Oct 1886 in Nuneaton
  • Attended King Edward VI Grammar School
  • Played Rugby for Nuneaton Town and Nuneaton Old Edwardians
  • Lived at 29 Market Place, Nuneaton [1891, 1901 and 1911]
  • Lived in Sarnia, Canada [1914]. So far unable to identify when and/or how he arrived in Canada
  • Employed as a Bank Clerk [1911]
  • Enlisted 22 Sep 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec.

    During the Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge (2nd Battle of Ypres) the German forces released some 168 long tons of Chlorine Gas over a 4 mile front which fell mainly in the trenches of French and French Colonial forces of the 45th and 87th Divisions. The gas caused massive casualties and created a 4 mile gap in the Front Line. Canadian troops defended the flank of the subsequent break-in by the Germans, they had urinated into cloth which they held to their faces to fight the effects of the gas. Other reports make it clear that Pvt Iliffe could have been one of the Canadian soldiers killed by the effects of Chlorine Gas. There were unofficial reports that his body was buried on the banks of the Ypres Canal.

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