"They called it Passchendaele"

Volume 1
Where We Begin
Eye and Ear
From Town and City
Travellers Tales
What Celia Sees
Daniel Defoe 1660-1731
William Camden 1551-1623
The Mysteries Of London
The Life of a Coster Girl
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
Further Notes From The Midlands
Lichfield Miscellanies
Seven Strong Spires
Before Us Stands Yesterday
Albion Band 1998 - 1999
London Calling
Stuart Hibberd 1893 - 1983
John Logie Baird 1888 - 1946
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Ghosts and Marvels
Casting the Runes
An Episode Of Cathedral History
The Tractate Middoth
More Ghosts and Marvels
Negotium Perambulans
Dulce Et Decorum Est
War Requiem
Poems by Wilfred Owen
"They called it Passchendaele"
Other Poets 1914 - 1918
C.S. Lewis: A Letter
C. S. Lewis 1898 - 1963
Joyce Grenfell 1919 - 1979
An Interview With Richard Thompson
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2006
Horkstow Grange
The Radio Ballads
Two Songs Of England
A Band For England
Waterloo Sunset
Vashti Bunyan
Just Another Diamond Day
David Gilmour
On An Island
Live From An Island
Where We Start

Be prepared to be shocked

"I died in hell. They called it Passchendaele".
- Siegfried Sassoon

stretcher party @ Passchendaele

The battle of Passchendaele began on July 31, 1917, with a huge barrage of Allied artillery. This offensive both warned the Germans of the coming attack but it also turned the battlefield into a mess of craters. With unusually heavy rains, the entire area was transformed into a sea of mud. The soldiers slept in the mud, crawled in the mud, fought in the mud, and drowned in the mud. The mud also clogged rifles, ruined food, and rendered artillery useless. The battle slogged on for months with neither side making progress due to the inhospitable conditions. In the face of these horrible circumstances Canadian soldiers performed exceptionally and, in the end, were instrumental in securing victory. Through the 3 months of fighting the Canadians established themselves as an elite fighting Corp and received honours reflecting that. In the end, 9 soldiers received the Victoria Cross in recognition of their outstanding effort at Passchendaele.
Two square miles of mud had been won at an overall cost to the Allies of 500,000 men. The Germans lost about 270,000 men.

Passchendaele  afterwards

This Song For You
(Chris de Burgh)

Hello darling, this is the army,
I've just got the time to write,
Today we attack, there's no turning back,
the boys they're all ready for the fight.

Yes, I'm well but this place is like hell,
they call it Passchendaele,
In nineteen seventeen the war must be ending,
the General said this attack will not fail;

So I'm writing down this little melody
When you play it my love, think of me...
We'll be together in this song for you,
And it goes Lalala...sing it darling...Lalala...

They got old Bill and the Sergeant is still out there
Wounded in some shellhole,
They say this war will end all wars,
Oh God I really hope it will,

Oh how's old England, are they still singing
those songs that we loved to sing,
When all this is over, we'll go sailing in Dover,
catching fish like we used to with a string,

Oh I miss you, I miss you, I miss you so,
If they get me my love you will know...
We'll always be together in this song for you...

And it goes Lalala...I have to go now...
take care of yourself my love


Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby's scheme). I died in hell -

(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duckboards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name
a thoughtful stare;
For, though low down upon the list, I'm there;
"In proud and glorious memory" ... that's my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:

suffered anguish that he's never guessed.
I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

- Siegfried Sassoon 1918


related internet links

officially the third battle
of Ypres
from the BBC's
WW.1 Archives

The photographs taken by
Jack Turner provide a startling
reminder that that this
was a very different
experience than that
of today's youth

Passchendaele Suite 1996 [click for larger]
No Masters (NMCD10) 1996

Track Listing:


The Land of the Long White Cloud

Een Schip

Ao Tea Roa

Robin's Song

Lay Me Low

The Bloody Fields of Flanders

Still in the Night

Ein Schottische Tanz

(Mad Old, Sad Old) Shuffling Jack

Tyne Cot at Night/I Want to go Home


The New Jerusalem

Aftermath. when the boys came home

albion miscellanies volume 1
is 2005/2006/2007 sam-and-lizzie
all rights reserved