COUPLAND-SMITH, Frederick Vyvyan

Lieutenant 173rd Bde., Royal Field Artillery.

Born

1896, the son of Mr. Frederick Godfrey & Ida Mary Coupland-Smith, of The Slades, Cleeve Hill, Glos.

Education

Blundell’s School, both in “Old House” and as a “Day Boy”, September 1909 - Summer 1913.
He entered “Old House” when he first came to the school in at the age of 13 years. He boarded at various times in his school life; 1909 to 1910 and again in 1912 and in 1913; at the other times he was a “Day Boy”.
He was, most of the time, a member of the Choir. He studied the Classical side and intended to take Orders, but left rather prematurely to accompany his parents to the Holy Land and Egypt in the summer of 1913.

Service

When war broke out he joined the army with a commission in the RFA.

The Offensive

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.

Death

2nd July 1917, aged 21.

Burial/Commemoration

I. D. 1.
He is buried at Lone Tree Cemetery, Mesen, Belgium

Memorial

Lone Tree Cemetery is close to Lone Tree Crater, one of nineteen craters which were made immediately before the infantry attack at the Battle of Messines in June 1917. The cemetery is approached via 100m grassed path across fields and contains 99 soldiers who fell during the First World War, of which the majority are identified.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Record Office, National Archives, Kew: Medal Rolls: WO372/
“The Blundellian” 1917 July p324
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.5333
Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 5/115

 

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