25th September - 14th October
British soldiers use gas for the first time at the Battle of Loos.
The Battle of Loos was part of a larger offensive by the British and French armies in 1915 called the Third Battle of Artois. During the attack at Loos the British Army used gas for the first time. They released 150 tons of chlorine gas but the wind blew some of it back over British lines. The British made some gains but were pushed back by German machine gun fire causing horrific casualties.
The Battle of Loos was the first battle in which the Welsh Guards saw action. This new regiment had only been created in February 1915 because Wales did not yet have a guards regiment in the traditional Guards Division. At Loos, the Welsh Guards launched an attack in the dark against an important piece of high ground called Hill 70. aptain Osmond Williams was killed during the battle, the first officer of the Welsh Guards to lose his life. After the battle, Sir John French commented "The greatest credit is due to the new Welsh soldiers for their steadiness and determination"
German prisoners take shelter in a shell crater with British soldiers.
These steel tubes were called Livens gas projectors and the British army used them to deliver their gas shells. The shell was placed inside the tube and an electric charge fired it toward the enemy line.
Numerous reports of the battle for Loos were published in the Welsh newspapers. Amongst them was a detailed description by Sapper Llewellyn Bassett from Llanelli who was in the Royal Engineers. In this local newspaper report from the South Wales Weekly Post he describes the ferocity of the fighting at Loos.
Report and photo of a soldier wounded at Loos
It wasn't all doom and gloom at the front. This film shows how soldiers created their own entertainment by putting on shows.