An 8.5 inch by 14 inch black and white photograph framed in black wood of the roll call of the 15th Battalion on April 24th 1915 after the battle of Second Ypres. This was the first use Chlorine gas against Allied troops, first against the Algerians on 22 April and then the Canadians – 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders) on the 25th.
Of the 1034 all ranks of the 15th Battalion who entered the battle only 212 answered the roll.
In front of Sgt. “Billy” Millar, 212 answer roll call. From the rifle companies fewer than 150 responded “present”. From No. 1 Company there were just six and from Nos. 2, 3 and 4 Companies only those who were on carrying parties or on sick leave. Casualties totalled 223 killed with the balance gassed, wounded or captured. Only three officers responded, the Colonel and the doctor, who had been in Battalion HQ, and the second-in-command, Major W.R. Marshall, who was awarded the DSO for stopping a mass attack after the forward companies had been overwhelmed. Click HERE for more information on the battle of Second Ypres.
Note that the men are not carrying gas masks or steel helmets. Both were issued later in the war.