"wastage of only 70% of his unit"
28th Batallion of the 2nd Australian Division practicing gun drills during the Third Battle of Ypres
Public Domain28th Batallion of the 2nd Australian Division practicing gun drills during the Third Battle of Ypres - Credit: United Kingdom Government

During the First World War, the town of Ypres in western Belgium was the scene of fierce fighting. There were five Battles of Ypres:

- First Battle of Ypres (19 October - 22 November 1914)

- Second Battle of Ypres (22 April - 15 May 1915)

- Third Battle of Ypres, a.k.a. the Battle of Passchendaele (31 July - 6 November 1917)

- Fourth Battle of Ypres, a.k.a. the Battle of the Lys (9 - 29 April 1918)

- Fifth Battle of Ypres (28 September - 2 October 1918)

Casualties in these gruelling battles were extremely high. The figure given here of 70% losses for 40 yards of gain is an exaggeration, but only just.