Passchendaele 100

Fought between 31 July and 10 November 1917, the Third Battle of Ypres - which later became known as  Passchendaele - was one of the bloodiest battles on the Western Front, with both sides suffering significant losses. Discover the history, stories of those who fought and more about the commemorations below.

The Battle

The battle was a major offensive led by the British Army, intended to break out of the Salient and put the German Army under intolerable pressure. Like the Somme Offensive of 1916, it consisted of several individual battles or phases. By the end of the battle, around 500,000 soldiers across both sides were wounded, killed or missing. Fought under terrible conditions, often in a muddy quagmire, it has come to epitomise the horrors of the Western Front.

Passchendaele - The Third Battle of Ypres

The CWGC will mark the Centenary of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres later this month. Fought between 31 July and 10 November 1917, Passchendaele was one of the bloodiest battles on the Western Front, with both sides suffering significant losses.

7 facts about the Battle of Pilckem Ridge

Monday 31 July marked 100 years since the Battle of Pilckem Ridge began in 1917. Here are 7 facts about the battle:

The Battles of Ypres. Scottish troops wearing waterproof capes going up to the line 5th August 1917 IWM Q 2677

6 facts about the Capture of Westhoek

Thursday 10 August marked 100 years since the Capture of Westhoek in 1917. Here are 6 facts about the battle:

7 facts about the Battle of Langemarck

Wednesday 16 August marked 100 years since the Battle of Langemarck began in 1917. Here are 7 facts about the battle:

Battle of the Menin Road Ridge. 13th Bn, DLI  waiting to attack towards Veldhoek, 20 Sep 1917 IWM Q 5966

8 facts about the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge

Wednesday 20 September marks 100 years since the Battle of Menin Road Ridge began in 1917. Here are 8 facts about the battle.

Members of the 13th Australian Field Ambulance sheltering in funk holes Sep 1917. IWM E(AUS) 839

7 facts about the Battle of Polygon Wood

Tuesday 26 September marks 100 years since the Battle of Polygon Wood began in 1917. Here are 7 facts about the battle.

Battle of Broodseinde. Balloon after being hauled down Oct 1917 IWM Q 11893

8 facts about the Battle of Broodseinde

Wednesday 4 October marks 100 years since the Battle of Broodseinde began in 1917. Here are 8 facts about the battle.

Troops of the Coldstream Guards rest on a captured German gun near Poelcappelle. 9 October 1917  © IWM Q 6046

8 facts about the Battle of Poelcappelle

Monday 9 October marks 100 years since the Battle of Poelcappelle began in 1917. Here are 8 facts about the battle.

Second Passchendaele - 12 October - 6 November. A line of infantry IWM E(AUS) 1222

10 facts about the Second Battle of Passchendaele

Thursday 26 October marks 100 years since the Second Battle of Passchendaele began in 1917. Here are 10 facts about the battle.

The Commemorations

CWGC marks the Centenary of Passchendaele - Day 1

The commemorations began at the CWGC Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial on Sunday 30 July with the traditional Last Post ceremony.

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CWGC marks the Centenary of Passchendaele - Day 2

On Monday 31 July, a special commemorative service was held at the CWGC’s Tyne Cot Cemetery, with more than 4,000 descendants and royalty in attendance.

Read more

Personal stories

Casualties of Passchendaele: Ellis Evans and Francis Ledwidge

A commemorative ceremony will be held at the CWGC's Artillery Wood Cemetery in Belgium this morning to mark the centenary of the deaths of two poets killed in action on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Captain Noel Chavasse

Friday 4 August marks 100 years since Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse died during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here is more about the man who represented GB in the 1908 Olympic Games, was a medical doctor, and is one of very few people to be awarded a Victoria Cross twice.

Casualties of Passchendaele: The Rev. William Doyle MC

Thursday 17 August marks 100 years since The Rev. William Doyle died during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here is more about the man who ministered to soldiers in the midst of battle, with a total disregard for his own safety.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler

Monday 21 August marks 100 years since Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler died during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here is more about the heroic nurse who is the only woman among more than 10,000 men in the CWGC’s second largest cemetery in Belgium.

Theo, William and George Seabrook AWM H05568

Casualties of Passchendaele: the Seabrook brothers

The impact of the Third Battle of Ypres was felt in communities across Britain and the Empire. Many families mourned the loss of their husbands, fathers and sons. For one Australian family, the fighting would prove especially traumatic, as three brothers lost their lives within hours of each other.

L-R Lieutenant Colonel Alan Humphrey Scott and Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Ralph Turnbull

Casualties of Passchendaele: Lieutenant Colonel Alan Humphrey Scott and Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Ralph Turnbull

The bodies of Lieutenant Colonel Alan Humphrey Scott and Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Ralph Turnbull were discovered together in 1919 by Grave Registration Units, after they were killed by the same sniper’s bullet during the Battle of Polygon Wood.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Serjeant David Gallaher

Wednesday 4 October marks 100 years since David Gallaher was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here is more about the former captain of the All Blacks.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Harry and Ronald Moorhouse

Today marks 100 years since father and son Lieutenant Colonel Harry Moorhouse and Captain Ronald Moorhouse were killed in action within an hour of each other during the Third Battle of Ypres. As their family remembers their bravery today, Harry’s great-granddaughter, Rebecca Lisle, has shared the archive she has compiled for her own sons to ensure Harry and Ronald will never be forgotten.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Sergeant Lewis McGee

Thursday 12 October marks 100 years since Sergeant Lewis McGee died during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here is more about the man who was awarded the Victoria Cross after leading his platoon with “great dash and bravery, though strongly opposed, and under heavy shell fire”.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Serjeant Colin Blythe

During the two world wars cricketers from all over the world redirected their sporting energies and passion towards the war effort. A huge number of them were never to return, including twenty-one Test players. Colin Blythe, was one of the most distinguished cricketers to die in the First World War.

Casualties of Passchendaele: Captain Henry Rawson Forde

Saturday 2 December will mark 100 years since Captain Henry Rawson Forde was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres. Here is more about the man who led the last offensive of the battle.

Related cemeteries

Passchendaele cemeteries

By the time the last shells fell in Belgium in November 1918, the fighting had claimed more than 193,000 Commonwealth lives. Those who died are remembered at CWGC cemeteries and memorials that dot this landscape.

A few are original cemeteries created during the war and preserved largely in the same layout, but many more were expanded later. Others lay behind the lines, near medical stations and hospitals. Their location, nature and even names reveal much about the events that unfolded here a century ago.

Below are some of the cemeteries and memorials in Ieper that commemorate those who lost their lives in the struggle for Passchendaele.