Caught in a deadly cloud: Ypres, 1915

How did Canada break through the Second Battle of Ypres?

Today marks 100 years since the Second Battle of Ypres, fought during the First World War from April 22 to May 25, 1915 for control of the town of Ypres in west Belgium, after the First Battle of Ypres the previous fall.

There were 10 men from the Okanagan Valley among the fatalities. (See Commonwealth War Grave Commission at:

This Second Battle stands out for a of couple reasons.  One, it was the first time Germany used chlorine gas. Two, it was the first time Canadians, still fresh from being a colonial force, defeated a European power on European soil.

“This was the Canadians’ first major battle,” explains Howard Hisdal, professor and Department of History chair at Okanagan College.

“In fact the poem In Flanders’ Fields comes from this battle, which was the bloodiest in our history to that time. Even so, they prevented a German breakthrough, despite having no gas masks and being equipped with Ross rifles that jammed under rapid fire conditions.”
How did they do it?
On April 22 and April 24, Canadian troops were bombarded with a cloud of deadly chlorine gas. The second time, the Canadian troops responded in a way that was simultaneously startling, ingenious, and prophetic.

What was it? How did the troops survive? Visitors to the Okanagan Military Museum, inside the Memorial Arena at 1424 Ellis St., can find out by stepping into the nation-building events of 1915 at the WW1 exhibit, The Glory Passes.


The Okanagan Military Museum is a facility of the Kelowna Museums Society, a non-profit, charitable organization dedi­cated to a greater awareness of the agricultural, wine-producing, military, and cultural heritages of the Okanagan. For more information please visit


Just Posted

Kelowna takes to high altitude skating

Kelowna’s Landmark 6 building is the scene of synthetic skating this weekend

Petition filed to supreme court on Peachtree Village

A petition was filed Wednesday by the Friends of Beach Avenue Association

Kelowna pot dispensary launches petition

One of the medical marijuana dispensaries being sued by the City of Kelowna is fighting back

Ethel Street to reopen in Kelowna as upgrade work wraps up

Design work has already started for the next phase of Ethel Street’s active transportation corridor

Lake Country Food Bank doesn’t make the cut

The food bank will continue fundraising after it didn’t win an online grant

What’s happening

Find out what is going on this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Rockets stop two-game slide with win over Giants

Dillon Dube scores the game winner on a third-period power play Friday in Langley

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Second lawsuit this week filed against jail

Inmate claims he was stabbed by another inmate while in protective custody

Kelowna company offering calibration service cameras

Speedy Glass has been selected as one of 50 service centres

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Big White has wet opening day

The resort only opened four out of 19 lifts

Most Read