The War On The Western Front
It’s impossible in one trip to the Salient to visit all the sites and below are just a small number of those I did. The various plaques I have photographed can be zoomed in on and the text is clearly readable – this will give a much better overview than I could. Sadly the photographs taken in the museums will not load from what seems to be a faulty memory card, but I’ll try recovery software later and then post them if successful.
Wieltje Farm Cemetery has 115 graves, mostly of the 2nd/4th Gloucesters. It also includes 1 german & 20 special memorials to unidentified casualties whose graves were destroyed.
Plaque to 15th Bn, 48th Highlanders of Canada. Commemorates the Gas Attack of the second battle of Ypres.
Carved into a single block of granite, this 35ft-high statue commemorates the 18,000 Canadian soldiers who withstood the first gas attack (without any gas masks) on 22-24th April 1915. Two thousand were killed.
It depicts a soldier with bowed head and shoulders, his reversed arms resting on the top of his upturned rifle.
This monument was voted as the best memorial in Flanders.
This memorial commemorates the men of the New Zealand Division in the battle of Broodseinde, 4th October 1917. Among the dead is Sgt David Gallagher, former Captain of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team.
Passchendaele New British Cemetery. Contains 1,018 UK, 647 Canadian, 292 Australian, 126 New Zealand, 6 Guernsey, 3 South African, 1 Newfoundland and 7 Special Memorials.
The Albertina Memorial records the end of the Passchendaele Offensive on 28th September 1918.
Tyne Cot Cemetery
How does one photograph the largest Commonwealth Cemetery in the world? It’s certainly not easy, but I hope one of my photos will do justice to the task.
The Tyne Cot cemetery plaque gives the number & nationalities of those whose names are recorded here.
And my favorite picture…
Hill 60 takes it’s name from this features height above sea level. It is artificial, being formed by the spoil taken from the cutting some 100m to the south when the railway was built. You can read more in the picture below.
Once again taking it’s name from the highest point above sea level. It is easy to see from the second photograph (showing Ypres in the distance) why it was of such importance to both sides – the unobstructed views given led to a significant advantage to whichever side held the hill.
From the summit of Hill 62 you can see for miles in every direction.
And finally, how could we forget the Scots? This monument was the first to commemorate the contribution of all Scots who fought on the Western Front. It also pays tribute to the 1st S African Bde as they formed part of the 9th (Scottish) Division for most of the war.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog. If you plan on visiting the area, then get a copy of Major & Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide To The Ypres Salient & Passchendaele, from which I have taken some of the stats given in this blog post. It is the definitive guide to the area and enabled me to see much more than I thought would be possible without going on an official tour, of which their are many should you so choose.
If however you just want to learn more, simply type any of the names given here into Google as there is a wealth of information made freely available.