We have just passed the 100th anniversary of what, by common consent, was the critical moment of the triumph in the 3rd Battle of Ypres, also known as The Passchendaele Campaign.

On October 31 the German attempt to break through the thin, but so gallant, line of British soldiers was finally frustrated and Channel ports were saved.

Thanks to Weymouth historian Greg Schofield, we can pick up the story of the second phase of this First World War battle in Belgium. Greg's research has led him to discover the names of eight Weymouth men who died as the village of Passchendaele was captured.

Greg said: "The 3rd Battle of Ypres having started so disastrously, General Gough was dismissed and replaced by General Plumer and his 2nd Army, whose very successful campaigns were marked by meticulous pre-planning rather than brilliant sweeping attacks.

"Throughout the rest of July and August, Plumer concentrated on reorganisation and retraining. Instead of achieving a massive breakthrough, Plumer aimed to advance in small steps through coordinated attacks.

"The infantry would attack in company with tanks, and when enemy trenches were seized, artillery would be advanced to cover the next attack.

"Meanwhile, the new Bristol fighters which could carry radio, would look out for German counter-attacks, let the artillery know the coordinates, and they would be shelled before the attacks could be launched.

"Having been assured by the Army Meteorological office that he could expect two to three months of dry weather, Plumer planned accordingly. Throughout July and August the weather was dry and sunny and the ground dried out and became firm. Phase 2 of the battle began in September and almost immediately it poured with rain, turning the ground into a quagmire once again. Nevertheless, Marshal Haig insisted the attack go ahead.

"The mud had two effects; the tanks were quickly bogged down and played little part in the battle, and the infantry was slowed right down, but progress was made and the 2nd Army slogged its way forward, gradually driving the Germans back up the slopes.

"However, it should not be thought that there was nothing but mud, some areas were firm underfoot and across these major attacks were launched at the Menin Road, Polygon Wood and Broodseinde. But, mud was the dominant factor.

"By November 10, the British had finally captured the village of Passchendaele at the top of the ridge. It was not the original final objective, but the British Army was exhausted, and the German Army, despite all expectations, was still very far from being broken. The campaign finally ground to a halt having advanced just seven miles for the loss of nearly 245,000 men, amongst whom were eight Weymouth men:-

• Charles Francis Brookes, Private, Army Service Corps (Canteens), died 29th November, 1917, aged 33. Was Head Waiter at the Royal Hotel in Weymouth.

• A. Caddy, Private, Army Machine Gun Corps, died 18th September, 1917, aged 29

• Alfred Garret, Private, 6th Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry. Died 21st September, 1917, aged 35

• Alec Lowe, Private, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment). Died 6th November, 1917, aged 19. Lived 4, Gloucester Terrace, Weymouth.

• Alan Douglas Rowland Menzies, Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died of wounds 28th September, 1917, aged 21. Lived 24, Milton Road, Weymouth.

• Sydney Robert Rogers, Private, 15th Hampshire Regiment. Died of Wounds 24th September, 1917. Lived 25, St Thomas Street, Weymouth.

• Arthur James Vine, Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 30th October, 1917, aged 31. Lived 4, Turton Street, Weymouth.

• Gordon Wilson, Bombardier, Royal Siege Artillery. Killed in action 12th November, 1917. Worked at the ‘Beehive’, men's outfitters.