The 1/4 Battalion York’s and Lancs were with the 148 Brigade, 49 (West Riding) Division which attacked Poelcappelle and the Passchendaele Ridge in October 1917. The assault was launched against concrete bunkers and pillboxes on the slopes of the ridge, in an area known by the troops as Tyne Cot. The name Tyne Cot was given to the area by men from Tyneside, who thought the small white houses in the area reminded them of their own home 'Tyne Cottages'.
British troops pushed forward in the terrible conditions, rifle bolts and machine guns were clogged with mud and in some cases unusable. The British soldiers were forced to fight with clubs, knives and hand grenades in close combat, in a kill or be killed battle with the tough veterans of the German Army.
The fighting came to an end in November, when the Canadians finally took what remained of Passchendaele village, our troops were exhausted and the High Command had used up all its reserves in the heavy fighting. Total British casualties were 240,000 the Germans losing 217,000 killed or missing, a British General who visited the battlefield in November viewed the scene of carnage and broke down in tears saying "My God, did we really send men to fight in that?"
Private Hugh John Murray was killed instantaneously(Northern Ensign 6/11/17) on the 20 October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres, during the fighting on the slopes of Passchendaele Ridge, he was aged 19 years.