Woodslane Online Catalogues
1917 - The Passchendaele Year
The British Army in Flanders: The Diary of Achiel Van Walleghem
- This unusual work offers a personal documentary and highly individual witness to the terrible events in Flanders in 1917. The Battle of "Third Ypres" - popularly known as "Passchendaele" - epitomized the worst slaughter on the western front of the First World War. Many thousands killed, to no avail; the trenches full of mud; the total annihilation of the landscape; attempts to break through to victory which only produced minor movement forward, and at a terrible cost.This book tells the previously untold story of daily life immediately behind the frontline during the tragic year of 1917.The author, who kept a detailed record of events and attitudes, was a village priest, Achiel Van Walleghem. He lived in Reninghelst, just west of Ypres, and kept an extensive day-by-day account. He was very well informed by the officers lodging in his presbytery. And, urged by his innate curiosity, he witnessed and noted the arrival of the first tanks and the increasing importance of the artillery. He also visited the camps of the Chinese Labour Corps and the British West Indies Regiment. On 7 June 1917 he awoke early to see the enormous mines of the Battle of Messines exploding.
Google Preview content