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We should never forget them

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    We should never forget them

    One hundred years ago to day marks the start of the Battle of Paschenndaele also known as the Third Battle of Ypres which was to last for more than 3 months. It produced more than 325,000 Allies casualties and 250,000 German casualties.

    Young men from the fields and the towns and the cities answered the call to serve their country and gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, in appalling conditions of mud and rain. Mud so deep at times men and horses drowned in it. Artillery bombardment after artillery bombardment destroyed their very souls.

    The moving words of Seigfreed Sassoon describe some of the horror:

    I died in hell - (They called it Passchendaele).
    My wound was slight,
    And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
    Burst slick upon the duckboards: so I fell
    Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light

    A quote from an anonymous commander in the Guards Brigade on the Western Front in 1917 "You (Subaltern E K G Sixsmith) can forget all your training; you have come here to show all your men how to die". Indeed this was true. It is often reported that the life expectancy of a 2nd lieutenant was 6 weeks at Paschenndaele.

    We should not forget our brave young men.

    For those of you on a P&O cruise calling at Zeebrugge for Bruges there is usually a shore excursion "Ypres - In Flanders Fields" which takes in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the Menin Gate, the In Flanders Fields museum and the St Georges Memorial Church in Ypres. Well worth taking it, very moving.

    #2
    Originally posted by JohnR, Chippenham View Post
    One hundred years ago to day marks the start of the Battle of Paschenndaele also known as the Third Battle of Ypres which was to last for more than 3 months. It produced more than 325,000 Allies casualties and 250,000 German casualties.

    Young men from the fields and the towns and the cities answered the call to serve their country and gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, in appalling conditions of mud and rain. Mud so deep at times men and horses drowned in it. Artillery bombardment after artillery bombardment destroyed their very souls.

    The moving words of Seigfreed Sassoon describe some of the horror:

    I died in hell - (They called it Passchendaele).
    My wound was slight,
    And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
    Burst slick upon the duckboards: so I fell
    Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light

    A quote from an anonymous commander in the Guards Brigade on the Western Front in 1917 "You (Subaltern E K G Sixsmith) can forget all your training; you have come here to show all your men how to die". Indeed this was true. It is often reported that the life expectancy of a 2nd lieutenant was 6 weeks at Paschenndaele.

    We should not forget our brave young men.

    For those of you on a P&O cruise calling at Zeebrugge for Bruges there is usually a shore excursion "Ypres - In Flanders Fields" which takes in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the Menin Gate, the In Flanders Fields museum and the St Georges Memorial Church in Ypres. Well worth taking it, very moving.
    Completely agree.

    Did you watch the BBC2 coverage last night?

    Very moving.

    I would also recommend the Pat Barker trilogy.

    Annie

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      #3
      Watching a programme on TV at the moment, very well presented and exceptionally moving. It is impossible to imagine the horror they faced and how many died.
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        #4
        My dad would have been 100 years old today. I did not realise that he was born on the day of the beginning of Paschendael. I don't think he knew either.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Happy, Wolverhampton View Post
          Watching a programme on TV at the moment...
          Yes, it's excellent!

          I've been to Ypres Flanders, The Menin gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Has anybody else visited Europe's various war memorials, maybe on a cruise excursion?
          Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 31st July 2017, 11:30 AM.
          See my cruise blog: HERE

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            #6
            Originally posted by Malcolm, Essex View Post
            Yes, it's excellent!

            I've been to Ypres Flanders, The Menin gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Has anybody else visited Europe's various war memorials, maybe on a cruise excursion?
            Yes Malcolm. I am watching now and have been to Ypres, The Menin gate and the nearby cemeteries.

            In fact, we make a point of paying our respects to those brave young men and women who lost their lives during both World Wars wherever and whenever we can. We have also visited Holocaust memorials during our travels.

            We and younger generations should never forget those brave young souls who more often than not had no choice in the matter of war.
            Jill

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              #7
              I'm ashamed to say I hadn't heard of Ypres, until the adverts for the commemorative coin appeared. My grandad died when I was young, I grew up with no dad, and didn't learn about it at school. So only really know about the basics of the war.

              They should always be remembered and honoured .................................................. ................Carol

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                #8
                Originally posted by Malcolm, Essex View Post
                Yes, it's excellent!

                I've been to Ypres Flanders, The Menin gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Has anybody else visited Europe's various war memorials, maybe on a cruise excursion?
                Yes Malcolm, my Husband had always wanted to see the Normany Beaches, so we spent a week touring all of them and many of the Cemetaries and Museums. The experience affected me deeply, I could not believe the height of some of those cliffs they scaled in atrocious weather whilst being attacked.

                The scale of the loss of life was bought home loud and clear and the sheer bravery and fortitude of the men, what a waste of lives. I most certainly, will never forget.
                Lizzie sigpic

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                  #9
                  It will be 100 years on 18 August since my grandfather was killed, though not at Paschendaele. My Dad was 3, and my Nan was pregnant with my Uncle. I believe she received a "gratuity" of about £4! I managed to find his grave via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, only about 30 mins drive from Calais, in a small, but beautifully kept cemetery. It was in the heart of the countryside, and very peaceful. Hard to imagine the carnage that was going on so close to our shores.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    We went to pay our respects to an uncle who is named on The Thiepval Memorial. An amazing experience and a wonderful five days touring the WW1 Battlefields. The Last Post at The Menin Gate is spine tingling and it's humbling to think this ceremony takes place every day, rain or shine, 1000's present or no one.

                    I love this song by Laura Wright performed at The Festival of Remembrance 2012.

                    For the Fallen
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI786ry7RP8

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I always think what a waste as personally I don't think we have learned anything in 100yrs. I don't know who said it as it was years ago I heard it but it went something like "just send the politicians and heads of states to war and see how quickly it would be settled. Just look at the news war in Middle East North Korea and now another dictator in waiting in South America. I don't think that's what these brave men died for. RIP.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We should never forget, it's hard to imagine that my grandad died a 100 years ago this year, gassed at Bourlon Wood, he is buried near Rouen.

                        We visited Tyne Cot, the Menin Gate and Ypres, it holds a special place in my heart.

                        I must return to hear the Last Post at the Menin Gate.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We must never forget, I toO have visited very humbling and sad, my Granfer survived his brother did not but he never talked about it, I knew all this because they taught us this at school, it is such a shame they don't do so now, our younger generations must keep this alive .
                          I though that both programmes Monday and Tuesday were excellent .CG
                          sigpic

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                            #14
                            I've visited the Normandy beaches when we took the caravan across to France.

                            I also went on a ship excursion to El Alamein when we docked in Alexandria. It is always sobering to visit cemeteries, but the museum was interesting. We were shown how the battles played out on a relief map.
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