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  • photo and period narrative
Person Details
16 Oct 1879
East Stoke
Herbert Assherton Bromley was born in East Stoke on the 16th October 1879 the 3rd son of Sir Henry Bromley 5th Baronet of East Stoke, and of Ada, Lady Bromley, of Parkside, Milnthorpe, Westmorland.
Educated at Farnborough and Eton
24 Apr 1915
36
922432 - CWGC Website
Lieutenant
Canadian Infantry
At the outbreak of war Herbert was in Vancouver, (British Columbia) Canada and on the 17th September he volunteered for the Canadian Infantry and accepted the rank of Lieutenant in the 7th Battalion Canadian Army. The 7th Battalion and Lt Bromley arrived in England on the 14th October 1914 he accompanied his O.C. (Officer Commanding) and 47 other officers with 1,083 other ranks. The 7th Battalion was only created in Vancouver on the 2nd of September 2 weeks later Herbert volunteered. He died during the second battle of Ypres, his body was never recovered or identified and his name is commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. .
The 7th became part of a larger military formation as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the 1st Canadian Division. In April 1915 the Canadians were ordered to a section of the line near the city of Ypres in Belgium were a finger of allied territory was pushed into German held lands – The Ypres Salient. The Germans held the high ground and were easily able to fire down into the allied trenches from the North, East and South. The Germans (a far stronger force) needed to remove the salient and on the 22 April 1915 after an intensive artillery bombardment with high explosive shells they then utilized for the first time in warfare a new and deadly weapon – poison gas. They released about 160 tons of chlorine gas from cylinders that had been dug into the forward edge of their trenches. A light North Easterly wind carried the gas to allied trenches. As thick clouds of yellow–green chlorine drifted over their trenches the French defences crumbled and the troops mesmerised by this horrific weapon died or fled their trenches leaving a 6.5 km gap in the allied line. The Germans pressed forward into this gap threatening to sweep behind the Canadian and British lines. Fortunately the Germans had only planned a limited offensive and therefore without adequate reserves were unable to exploit the gap that the gas had created. It has to be said that the German troops themselves were suspicious about the gas and indeed did not believe they had adequate protection from the gas. After advancing 3.25 km the stopped their advance and ‘dug in’. Throughout the night of 22/23 April 1915 Canadian troops fought in order to close the gap. The Canadians also mounted a counter attack to drive the Germans out of Kitchener’s Wood (West of St Julien). In the morning of 23rd April 2 more disastrous attacks made against the new German positions resulting in very little gain but very high casualties. What these attacks did achieve was to buy sufficient time to close the flank were the French had fled from. On the 24th April the Germans attacked in an attempt to obliterate the salient once and for all. Another violent artillery bombardment was followed by another gas attack in the same pattern as before. This time, today, the target was the Canadian line. Here through all this terrible fighting, withered with shrapnel and machine gun fire, hampered by their issued Ross rifles that constantly jammed, violently sick and gasping for air through soaked and muddied handkerchiefs – the Canadians HELD ON UNTIL REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVED. In the last 48 hours (23rd and 24th April) the cost to the Canadians was very high 6,035 casualties (1 man in 3) including 2,000 killed. Lieutenant Herbert Assheton Bromley was KIA (Killed in Action) on the 24th April 1915, sadly, as with many of his comrades in arms he has no grave, his name is however inscribed with honour at the Menim Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium. The above information including articles and photos are courtesy of Richard Hallam
Remembered on

Photos

  • photo and period narrative
    Herbert Assheton Bromley - photo and period narrative
  • His attestations papers
    Herbert Assheton Bromley - His attestations papers
  • Showing the rear face of his attestation papers upon entry into the Canadian Army
    Herbert Assheton Bromley - Showing the rear face of his attestation papers upon entry into the Canadian Army
  • The Ypres Menin Gate memorial upon which Herbert Assheton Bromley's name is commemorated. 
Courtesy of the CWGC
    Herbert Assheton Bromley - The Ypres Menin Gate memorial upon which Herbert Assheton Bromley's name is commemorated. Courtesy of the CWGC