During the Battle of Passchendaele, an estimated 245,000 allied and 215,000 German casualties (dead, wounded or missing) fell after approximately 100 days of heavy fighting for a movement of the front line of only 8 kilometres .
On 30 and 31 July, the UK Government in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the city of Ypres, the Municipality of Zonnebeke and the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 will mark the centenary of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres. The official commemoration begins on the eve of 30 July with a traditional Last Post Ceremony at the CWGC Menin Gate, followed by a special live performance in Ypres Market Square. On 31 July there will be service of commemoration set amongst the graves and names at the CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery. The UK Government organised a public ballot to allocate 4,000 tickets in pairs, free of charge for descendants to attend the commemorative event at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery on 31 July. More info: www.passchendaele100.org.
Members of the Royal Family and the King and Queen of the Belgians will attend the commemorations.
On behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales will attend commemorations marking the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres. His Royal Highness will be accompanied by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
On Monday 31st July, The Prince of Wales will be accompanied by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Tyne Cot cemetery to mark the centenary of the first day of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres. The King and Queen of the Belgians will be in attendance.
The Prince of Wales and The King and Queen of the Belgians, will then officially open the Zonnebeke Church Dugout, a preserved First World War dugout which forms part of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.
Following the opening of the Dugout, The Prince of Wales and The King and Queen of the Belgians will open the nearby British Memorial Poppy Garden in Passchendaele Memorial Park. His Royal Highness and Their Majesties will be able to meet some of the designers and gardeners who look after the memorial gardens.
The Prince of Wales and The King and Queen of the Belgians will then join hundreds of guests at the Exhibition Field at The Passchendaele Memorial Park to meet families and descendants of those who fought and fell at Passchendaele, The Third Battle of Ypres as well as school children learning about the history of the battle.
The MMP 1917 offers 1,000 people, who couldn’t get a ticket , an alternative programme.
In total you can choose from 3 options, each starting from car park “C” at Bellewaerde. The first option is a guided dawn walk of 9 km with breakfast and several stops where an extra guide gives additional explanations. The second option is a 5.5 km guided walk with breakfast and several stops. The walks end at the Zonnebeke chateau grounds. The third option is public transport to the Zonnebeke chateau grounds. All options include a visit to the MMP1917, a Tommy Tucker meal, live coverage on a big screen of the ceremony and transportation to the car park (shuttle busses from 4 p.m.). Also included is free entrance to the “Passchendaele Centenary Exhibition field” with reenactors, exhibitions, artifacts, infomodules…
As participant you also have the chance to be the first to visit the Zonnebeke Church Dugout. This exceptionally well preserved dugout will be officially opened after the ceremony. You also have a chance at attending the ceremony at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery after all. The museum holds a lottery with a great number of tickets among the participants.
For the first and second option you pay € 20 per person. The third option costs € 12 per person. You can register until Sunday July 23 on www.passchendaele.be/tickets. The winners of a ceremony or Zonnebeke Church Dugout ticket will be informed by email on Monday 24 July.
For more information about the Accessibility Groot-Zonnebeke click here.
Tyne Cot Cemetery