Posts Tagged ‘Battle of Passchendaele’

The Belgians Have Not Forgotten – Passchendaele Exhibit in the Council Chambers, Rangiora

11 September 2017

 

The Belgians Have Not Forgotten, an exhibition that reminds us of the huge sacrifices that our country made in the Battle of Passchendaele in October 1917 is on display in the Council Chamber in Rangiora.  We have been fortunate to get it near the end of a tour of Australia and New Zealand, between its Christchurch and Dunedin appointments.

This, of course, is the battle’s centenary year.  The Passchendaele battlefield is within the Municipality of Zonnebeke, which has a twinning relationship with Waimakariri.

All are welcome.  It is open during office hours.

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Belgian National Day Recognised in Waimakariri 

22 July 2016

A pity the wind didn’t blow yesterday but the Belgian flag flew to commemorate Belgium’s national day. Waimakariri has a twinning relationship with the municipality of Zonnebeke on the Passchendaele battlefield.

Passchendaele Remembered

12 October 2012

New Zealand and Belgian flags fly at half-mast in Rangiora in memory of those who died at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

From: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/new-zealanders-in-belgium/passchendaele

Troops from 2nd Brigade and 3rd (Rifle) Brigade advanced at 5.25 a.m. in drizzle that soon turned to driving rain. As they struggled towards the ridge in front of them, they found their way blocked by the uncut barbed wire. Exposed to raking German machine-gun fire from both the front and flank, the New Zealanders were pinned down in shell craters in front of the wire. A few determined individuals tried to get through the barrier, but they were quickly killed.

Orders came for another push at 3 p.m., but this was mercifully postponed and then cancelled. The troops eventually fell back to positions close to their start line. For badly wounded soldiers lying in the mud, the aftermath of the battle was a private hell; many died before they could be rescued.

The toll was horrendous. There were more than 2700 New Zealand casualties, of which 45 officers and 800 men were either dead or lying mortally wounded between the lines. In terms of lives lost in a single day, this remains the blackest day in New Zealand’s post-1840 existence.


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