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The Third Battle of Ypres in photos


Stunning, poignant and incredibly moving photographs of Passchendaele, and some of the battles before and during, drives home the experiences of those men that risked – and gave – life and limb.

The lead-up

In 1914, as war crept across the Flanders landscape, few people in Ypres could have conceived that their streets and fields would remain a battlefield for the next four years.

Planning and preparation

By early July the preparations for the forthcoming offensive were well under way.

The battlefield

On the evening of 30 July 1917, all British forces were in their place around the Ypres Salient, hearts thumping hard and anxiously behind khaki tunics. The Battle of Pilckem Ridge, which started at 3:50am on 31 July 1917, marked the beginning of the Third Battle of Ypres.

The conditions in which men fought and died were dreadful beyond belief, especially once the rains set in.

The aftermath and legacy

The individual tragedies of the Battle of Passchendaele are legion, tens of thousands of men condemned to die in a pitiless landscape, a long way from the place that they call home.

Today, Passchendaele is a quiet and peaceful village in Flanders. Yet such is the violence of what occurred in the village and in Flanders a century ago, that the war has left an indelible mark.

Extracted from Passchendaele 1917, and with thanks to AirSeaLand Photos Limited (unless otherwise stated).

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