Highlighted Events – Passchendaele, Third Battle of Ypres

Exhibitions

The National Museum of Ireland has opened their free temporary exhibition War in the Mud: The Irish soldier in Belgium in the summer of 1917, featuring a number of artefacts on display for the first time. The exhibition runs until December 2017 and will tell the story of Irish soldiers who served at Passchendaele.

The Memorial Museum Passchendaele will tour the exhibition The Belgians Have Not Forgotten,
throughout New Zealand and Australia until November 2017. Illustrated by an array of photographs, movies, artwork and artefacts from the battlefields, the exhibition will highlight the war experience alongside commemorative events.

Worcester Soldier Gallery is hosting The Worcestershire Regiment at the Battle of Passchendaele until 31 October 2017. This free exhibition charts the involvement of regional regiments who fought at Passchendaele.

Art, Theater and Interactive Projects

The London Jews in the First World War–Were There Too project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will commemorate the Anglo-Jewish contribution to the British Armed Forces during the Third Battle of Ypres, through articles and stories about those that served. These will be populated on the website on the week commencing 24 July 2017.

Ceridwen Theatre Company present the play Hell Was Passchendaele. Commissioned by the National Museum Cardiff, this free production runs from 9-10 September 2017, inviting viewers to glimpse into the lives of three soldiers, cut off from their allies and surrounded by the desolate conditions of Passchendaele.

Salford Museum & Art Gallery and Ordsall Hall have held a residency for artist James Bloomfield, who has created the artwork In Service 1918-2017. 226 commemorative ceramic plates, each representing a conflict during the First World War, will be placed into service in the cafés of both venues on 31 July to be decommissioned on Friday 10 November.

Mesh Theatre Co. is putting on the play Journey’s End at the historic Kruitmagazijn (ammunition dump) in Ypres, Belgium. The play, written by R.C. Sherriff, is set in a dugout over four days leading up to a massive attack, and will be running from 10th October – 12th November 2017.

Museum of Liverpool is marking the centenary of the death of Noel Chavasse VC and Bar through a new display of two beautiful stained-glass memorial windows. The windows, commissioned by the Chavasse family, will be on display 30 June until 31 August and commemorate both those who served and those who ‘laid down their lives’ in the Great War.

Since March 2014, the WW1 Soldier’s Tale online project has been following the progress of ‘Walter Carter’, a fictional soldier who tells of his experience of the First World War in real-time on Facebook, Twitter and through a blog. To mark the centenary of Passchendaele, Company Sergeant Major Carter and the men of the 10 Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) are about to go over the top at Passchendaele amidst the heaviest rain for 30 years…

Events

DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) have organised a series of national events to commemorate the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres, including a performance of an exclusive short story written by Michael Morpurgo, the best-selling author of War Horse. On 31 July, a service of commemoration at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Tyne Cot Cemetery will be attended by thousands of descendants of those who served who have a connection to the battle.

The Welsh National Service of Remembrance will take place at the Welsh National Memorial in Langemark, Belgium on 31 July 2017. The Third Battle of Ypres and the location of the memorial are of particular resonance to Wales, due to the heavy involvement of 38 (Welsh) Division at Pilkem Ridge. Passchendaele also claimed the lives of many Welsh soldiers, including the renowned Welsh language poet Hedd Wyn.

The National Memorial Arboretum is hosting a Battle of Passchendaele Centenary Service on 31 July. This special service will include acts of Remembrance, poetry, readings and a musical accompaniment provided by a military band. Following the Arboretum service, a broadcast of the Government service of Remembrance at The Tyne Cot Memorial will be relayed onto a large screen in Heroes’ Square.

Every year, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 organises a museum weekend with WWI Living History, which in this centenary year will take place in the chateau grounds, Zonnebeke on 29 and 30 July. On 31 July, the Museum is offering one thousand people the opportunity to experience a Passchendaele programme as an alternative to the official commemorations. In October, Silent City Meets Living City, will facilitate a moment of silence and reflection to commemorate the many victims of Passchendaele. Participants can register online.

Museum of Liverpool is hosting a number of events to mark the centenary on 31 July. This includes a hands on activity with real objects from the First World War, a talk by Major Paul Knight on the Third Battle of Ypres and an informative session on the life of Noel Chavasse, led by a local historian.

Liverpool City Council is holding two significant civic events in August 2017 to mark 100 years since the death of Noel Chavasse. A Commemorative Paving Stone will be unveiled at Abercromby Square on Tuesday 29 August at 2pm, followed by a re-creation of his Memorial Service at Liverpool Parish Church at 2pm, a century to the day after it took place.

Projects for schools

Lives of the First World War is an online platform to discover, remember and share stories of the 8 million men and women who contributed to the British war effort in the First World War. To mark the centenary of Passchendaele, free educational resources have been made available for teachers to inspire their pupils with the stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.

Big Ideas Company have conceived the Passchendaele at Home initiative for schools and community groups. The challenge encourages participants to discover graves in the UK belonging to British soldiers who were wounded at the Third Battle of Ypres, but who died of their wounds in the UK. The initiative runs over the period of the Passchendaele centenary, and provides participants with a map which will guide research on graves of those who fought in Ypres, as well as funding and a comprehensive online database.