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Horace Inman – killed in action 1917

BLEUET FARM CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Horace Inman served with the second battalion of the Coldstream Guards. He attested for service on 29 October 1915. Horace was killed in the third battle of Ypres on 24 September 1917. He was the husband of Hilda Victoria Sinclair Inman, father of Elvina Doreen Inman of Deans House Hotel, Prescot, Liverpool.


Third battle of Ypres

31-Jul-1917 —10-Nov-1917

In Flanders, the Third Battle of Ypres was launched on 31st July. The British Fifth Army commanded by General Hubert Gough advanced in a north-easterly direction away from its positions near Ypres with the Passchendaele Ridge in its sights. The French First Army was on its left. The British Second Army, under General Herbert Plumer, was on its right, holding the ground won during the Battle of Messines a few weeks earlier. Some ground, approximately two miles, was gained on the first day, but that night rain began to fall. The ground all around the British attackers quickly turned into a quagmire. Churned up by the artillery bombardment of the German Front Line and rear areas, the ground the British were now having to advance across was badly damaged and filling up with of rainwater which could not drain away through the heavy clay soil. Added to this, several small streams flowed through the area and their natural drainage channels had been destroyed. Due to persistent rain over the next few weeks the whole operation became literally bogged down in thick, sticky Flanders mud. Conditions were so bad that men and horses simply disappeared into the water-filled craters.

The German defensive line had been fortified during the previous months in their expectation of an attack here. The British advance turned into a battle of 8 phases, inching closer to the Passchendaele Ridge in a series of actions with limited objectives. The capture of the Passchendaele Ridge eventually took over 8 weeks to achieve.

The cost to both sides in human casualties was immense at between 200,000 and 400,000, although exact figures for British and German casualties continue to be a matter of discussion for military historians. The great tragedy for the British Army and the Imperial Forces of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who suffered so many losses in the fight for the few miles from Ypres to the Passchendaele Ridge, is that only five months later almost all of the ground gained in the mud and horror of the battles for Passchendaele was recaptured by the German Army during its April offensive in 1918.

The Third Battle of Ypres comprised 8 phases. Formally called the Third Battle of Ypres, the battle which began on 31st July often takes the name it is more commonly known by, the Battle of Passchendaele, from the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele, which were in fact the last two phases of Third Ypres.

  • Battle of Pilckem Ridge31-Jul-1917—02-Aug-1917
  • Battle of Langemarck, 191716-Aug-1917—18-Aug-1917
  • Battle of the Menin Road Ridge20-Sep-1917—25-Sep-1917
  • Battle of Polygon Wood26-Sep-1917—03-Oct-1917
  • Battle of Broodseinde04-Oct-1917
  • Battle of Poelcapelle09-Oct-1917
  • First Battle of Passchendaele12-Oct-1917
  • Second Battle of Passchendaele26-Oct-1917—10-Nov-1917

Many thousands of the casualties on both the Allied and German sides were killed in the fighting during the Third Battle of Ypres. Thousands were listed as missing in action and whose remains, if found, have never been identified.

Those killed on 24 September 1917

  • Guardsman 18740 E Lamb
  • Guardsman 20011 J V Matthews
  • Guardsman 20139 T J Rattley
  • Guardsman 20015 Henry Martin
  • Guardsman 16309 E Black
  • Guardsman 17357 W L Harrison
  • Guardsman 20147 W H Cox
  • Lance Cpl 16709 F S Clay
  • Guardsman 18521 D W Halkett
  • Guardsman 19576 A H Russell
  • Guardsman 19311 H Inman

War Diary Entry

War diary entry – September 1917

The diary entry does not mention any action by the battalion on the day Horace was killed. I assume that he was at the Cambridge Camp, just 200 yards from Bleuet Farm, which was attacked on that day and that Horace was one of the 11 ‘Other Ranks’ killed. Wounded officers were named in the report, but none of those killed.

Personal Life

Horace Gambal Inman was born in 1887 in Bradford, Yorkshire to Samuel G and Clara (nee Hopkinson) Inman.

On the 1891 census, his father was living with his parents  at Hill Side Villas in Bradford, Yorkshire as a Warehouseman. His mother was living with her parents at Otley Road in Bradford, Yorkshire as a Yarn Finisher. They were married in 1892

On the 1891 UK Census on 5 Apr 1891 his parents were living at Saltaire Road in Shipley, Bradford, Yorkshire. His father was now an Inn Keeper.

He had a brother, Harold, born in 1894.

He was age 14 and living with his parents on the 1901 UK Census on 31 Mar 1901 at Fox & Hounds in Menston, Wharfedale, Yorkshire. His father was the Publican.

He married Hilda Victoria Sinclair Bull in 1909 at Warrington.

He was a hotel barmen on the 1911 UK Census on 2 Apr 1911 at Albert Road in Poulton, Bare and Torrisholme, Lancaster, Lancashire, England. He was boarding, with his wife Hilda, at a boarding house.

They had a child, Leonard Gamble , born on 4 Jun 1911 in Lancaster, Lancashire.

He served in the military Regiment: Coldstream Guards; Rank: Private; Service number: 19311 in 1916.

They had a child, Elvina Doreen, born 12 Aug 1916 in Warrington, Lancashire.

He died on 24 Sep 1917 at age of 30 years as in interred in Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Belgium.

His wife Hilda died on 31 May 1918 at age of 31 years in Prescott, Lancashire.

His daughter married Pietro Intonazzo were married in 1934 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

His daughter was living together with Horace’s sister-in-law, Tryphena Beatrice and her her husband, Leonard, Fryer at 40 Oxford Street, Liverpool in Liverpool C.B., Lancashire, England in 1939 Register.

His daughter died on 3 May 2001 at age of 84 years in Sefton North, Lancashire, England.

Family Photos

Family photos have been added to his LIVES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR page. Click here to view and look under Evidence and Stories; well worth a read.

Census records

Prescot Roll of Honour

Read more about Horace here

Grave Details -Bleuet Farm

His war grave details can be seen here.  This links to the Commonwealth Grave Commission’s website.

Horace Inman – Bleuet Farm

The grave photograph was taken by the War Graves Photographic Project. A copy of this photograph can be ordered from their website.

Remembered in Birkdale Cemetery.

Horace is remembered on his daughters headstone in Birkdale Cemetery – Section I


12.8.1916 – 3.5.2001.
26.10.1927 – 28.7.2003.
23.8.1940 – 9.9.2011

Cemetery Details – Bleuet Farm

The cemetery is located to the north west of the town of Ieper near a village called Elverdinge, this is on the N8 road between Ieper and Veurne, 3 kilometres from Ieper. Driving into the village from Ieper go to the traffic lights and turn right, this street is called Steenstraat, and after 50 metres follow the street to the right, called Boezingsestraat. The cemetery is 500 metres along this street on the left hand side.

Bleuet Farm was used as a dressing station during 1917 Allied offensive on this front. The cemetery was begun in a corner of the farm and was in use from June to December 1917, though a few of the burials are of later date. Two graves were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice from isolated positions close by. There are now 442 First World War burials in the cemetery and nine from the Second World War, all dating from the Allied retreat to Dunkirk in May 1940. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

You can view the details for this cemetery on the Commonwealth Grave Commission’s website here.