More about Passchendaele

I bought my third Remembrance Day poppy today. They constantly work loose and fling themselves to the ground, so by November 11, I probably won’t have one to wear.

The quick history is at about.com: Passchaendale. There is, the last I heard, one surviving Canadian British veteran, Harry Patch.

That is a tank sinking in the rear centre.


It was 90 years ago this month. Greg Clark, the gentle Canadian humourist, was a veteran. The men who came back didn’t talk about it. It took six men to carry a stretcher through the waist-deep mud. Men and horses drowned in the deeper parts or were buried by shell-fire. You can read here about the battle and its cost.

3 Responses to “More about Passchendaele”

  1. Harold Asmis Says:

    I hate those poppies! You’d think you could get a premium flower by Internet or something. We need something that doesn’t kill you or the kids, and stays on for more than 10 minutes.

  2. monado Says:

    Some people thread the pin through many little waves of cloth to increas friction; others bend the end of the pin with pliers — but I feel that makes them more likely to stab something. On my third poppy, I’ve replaced the straight pin with a small safety pin attached through the cloth from the back. That’s keeping it on so far.

  3. Jason Says:

    Hi Mona

    I thought I should point out one thing, that Harry Patch is actually not Canadian, he’s from Somerset, and still lives there. He’s on Wikipedia at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Patch

    There’s a list of surviving veterans at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surviving_veterans_of_World_War_I

    One of my own great-grandfathers died in the 1970’s and served in the Royal Marines Light Infantry during the first world war. I only remember him as a very old man (he was in his 80s) and I wasn’t old enough to realise that he’d been in the war until quite a while after he died.

    He lived in Gillingham in Kent, and was stationed a couple of miles
    away at the Royal Dockyard in Chatham.

    My other great-grandfather died during the war whilst serving in the Royal Naval Reserve, orphaning his four children including my grandmother. If they hadn’t been taken in by their aunt, they would have ended up in the workhouse.

    I only live a few miles away from Chatham, and it’s strange to think that 90 years ago, my family and I would have been able to hear the guns from the front, and see the battleships sailing up the Medway Estuary.

    Best regards

    Jason


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