Lessons from the Mud

55th (West Lancashire) Division at the Third Battle of Ypres

Paul Knight

This book destroys the popular impression of generals unaware of conditions in the trenches and incapable of developing tactics to break the slaughter of trench warfare.
Publication date:
February 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
25 b/w maps, 12 photos
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781912390052

Dimensions : 245 X 170 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


• Presents a unique discussion of the evolution of British Army battlefield tactics during this pivotal battle
• Provides fresh insights into the Third Battle of Ypres
• Includes much of regional interest for Lancashire

First World War generals have a reputation for both failing to understand the conditions their men were fighting in and also to adopt to the reality of the Western Front. All too often in discussions, the Lions led by Donkeys attitude prevails which has been reinforced by Blackadder's ‘General Melchett'.

General Jeudwine was neither a Donkey nor a Melchett. His command of 55th (West Lancashire) Division from January 1916 was highly regarded and the division was in the top third of the British Expeditionary Force.

The division attacked twice during the Third Battle of Ypres. After each attack, Jeudwine collected ‘Narratives' from his men. These range from formal reports from Commanding Officers to Private soldier's handwritten memoires on a sheet of paper torn from a notepad.

Transcribed in their entirety for the first time, these Narratives offer a fascinating, first-hand account of two major written within days of the battle. Within the Narratives are details of the fates of men whose names are recorded on the Menin Gate, the practical application of tactics, small scale actions around German strong points.

In analysis, the evolution of tactics is seen between the two attacks which shows the Army as a learning organisation.


Carefully edited and well presented, this is a useful addition to any Great War collection.
Soldier Magazine