Battle of the Menin Road

By Filip Debergh

On 20 September 1917 at 05.40, two regiments, the 3rd and the 4th South African Infantry battalions of the 1st South African Infantry Brigade, left their assembly positions and advanced from Frezenberg Ridge in the direction of Zonnebeke.

Zonnebeke is a small village 8km to the east of Ypres, the town that all soldiers who fought in Flanders knew so well.

The attack was later officially named the ‘Battle of the Menin Road’ and was part of the so-called ‘Third Ypres Offensive’ in 1917.

The South Africans achieved their objective, but the toll was considerable: Of the 2 576 men who went into battle, 1 255 were reported killed, wounded or missing.

Today, ninety years after the battle, the date 20 September 1917 appears all too often under the laurelled Springbok head emblem, with its motto ‘Union is strength – Eendracht maakt macht’, on the headstones of the South African war graves.

This article may be read in full here.

Read how schools came together to pay tribute:


Search this Site

Next Event

Jun
9
Fri
2017
10:00 UK Founders Day Parade @ Royal Hospital Chelsea
UK Founders Day Parade @ Royal Hospital Chelsea
Jun 9 @ 10:00 – 11:00
UK Founders Day Parade @ Royal Hospital Chelsea | England | United Kingdom
Purpose: Founder’s Day (also known as Oak Apple Day) is the highlight of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s calendar, an event attended by all our brethren, the Chelsea Pensioners, celebrating the founding of the Royal Hospital
Jun
24
Sat
2017
10:00 UK Armed Forces Day Parade 2017 @ Woking Town Centre
UK Armed Forces Day Parade 2017 @ Woking Town Centre
Jun 24 @ 10:00 – 12:00
UK Armed Forces Day Parade 2017 @ Woking Town Centre | Woking | England | United Kingdom
Purpose: A chance to show our support for the armed forces of our host nation. This event is under the auspices of the Royal Naval Association.
Jul
9
Sun
2017
10:00 Delville Wood @ Delville Wood
Delville Wood @ Delville Wood
Jul 9 @ 10:00 – 14:30
Delville Wood @ Delville Wood | Longueval | Hauts-de-France | France
Purpose: We remember the 229,000 South Africans who volunteered for World War 1, paying tribute to 2,500 who perished in the Battle of Delville Wood, the single biggest SA military loss on the battle field.

Auction Now On