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Medicine on the Western Front Cheat Sheet by

Battles of the Western Front (WW1) For Edexcel GCSE History Paper 1 Medicine through Time

The First Battle of Ypres

The BEF had moved to the town of Ypres in order to prevent the German advance.
Autumn 1914--> Germans launched an attack on the British positions to the East.
British lost 50,000 troops.
They held on to Ypres, which allowed them control of the English Channel ports.
End --> The Germans had extended their control around the edge of the Ypres Salient as far as the village of Messines.

The Battle of Arras

24,000 men who had been hiding near the German trenches attacked. This was to break through the German line.
The British advanced 8 miles.
160,000 British and Canadian casualties

Trench System

Commun­ication trench ran between the other trenches.
At the end there were artillery emplac­ements.
Dugouts for protective cover.
Support trench was 80 metres behind the front line. Troops would retreat here if the frontline came under attack.
Trenches were in zig-zag patterns.
Reserve trench was 100 metres behind the support trench and was where reserve troops could be mobilised if the frontline was captured.
Frontline trench was where attacks would be made from.

Third Battle of Ypres

Break out of the Ypres Salient (vulne­rable position of battle­fields)
Wanted to remove advantage of German higher ground.
The British marched East towards Passch­end­aele. Advanced about 2 miles.
Ground became waterl­ogged and men drowned.
Had to move edge of salient back by about 7 miles.
245,000 British casual­ties.


Hill-60 --> Man-made hill to the south-east of Ypres.
Germans captured it in 1914.
British used offensive mining to take it back in 1915. They tunnelled under the hill.

Chain of Evacuation

200m of the Frontline, in commun­ication trenches or deserted buildings. To give immediate first aid.
Wounded men could walk there, and it was made up of a regimental aid officer, with some help from stretcher bearers.
400m from the RAP, located in abandoned buildings for shelter.
Each dressing station was staffed by ten medical officers. Used a triage system.
800m from the RAP, dugouts or bunkers.
Used a triage system.
Sufficient distance from the frontline to provide safety, however it was close enough to be accessible by ambulance wagons. Specia­lised injuries. Set up in buildings such as factories and schools, to provide shelter.
Triage system.
Ambulance Train
Base Hospitals
Located close to the French and Belgium coast, so that wounded men could board onto hospital ships easily.
They experi­mented with new techni­ques, of which successful ones were used in CCS'. For example, wards.
Hospital Ship

The Second Battle of Ypres

1915--> Straight after Hill-60
First time the Germans used chlorine gas.
59,000 men lost
Germans had moved two miles closer to the town of Ypres by the end.

Battle of the Somme

First Day --> British Casualties 57,000 // Deaths 20,000
Creeping Barrage - Artillery launched from the trenches towards the German lines just ahead of the British infantry as it advanced forward
First use of tanks in warfare, and it was not succes­sful.
400,000 casualties


1916 - British decided to link the existing tunnels to create an underg­round network around Arras.
2.5 Miles / 25,000 Men could be stationed there
Contained electric lights, running water, railway system and a hospital

The Battle of Cambrai

Artillery Barrage was changed so that less waning of the coming attack was given to the Germans.
First large scale use of tanks. - 450 Tanks
They were very effective.


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