The Battle of Passchendaele 1917 was one of the biggest and bloodiest encounters of the Great War. In a few months of heavy fighting approximately 245,000 British, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and South Africans were put out of action to gain just five miles.
In Passchendaele, the back walls of Tyne Cot Cemetery contain the names of 35,000 men missing in action, a continuation of the Menin Gate in Ypres who commemorates another 55,000 soldiers whose bodies are missing. Approximately half of those men lie unidentified but in graves with the inscription ‘A Soldier of the Great War’. The others remain unrecovered, still buried somewhere in Flanders Fields …
No matter how impressive a visit to Tyne Cot or other cemeteries and memorials is, one can only find a name there, with the scantiest of details. ‘The Passchendaele Archives’ intends to put a face and a story to those names by building up personal archives with photographs, family and military information. To be part of the Passchendaele Archives project, a file will only be started if a photograph is available and if he fell during the Battle of Passchendaele, from 12 July till 15 November 1917. Nonetheless you can always contact us for more information about relatives without a photograph or who fell in this area outside these dates.
Did your relative give his life in the Battle of Passchendaele 1917? Pleasee contact us by sending us a filled in copy of the questionnaire:
In return for your cooperation we will try to find out what exactly happened to your relative. You will receive a map with the approximate place where he was killed or mortally wounded. With this comes a short report based on the war diaries of his unit. Donations of original items for the museum or the Tyne Cot Visitor Centre are of course always gratefully received.
The Passchendaele Archives is a project of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. It started in 2005 and is ongoing. The online database is active since 2017 and is a work in progress. Existing files are added via basic registration. In a second phase the input will be completed. New files are fully implemented.