Zonnebeke commemorates "100 years of Battle of Passendale"
06/02/2017 - Zonnebeke - Source: Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Between July 29 and November 12, 2017 the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and the municipality of Zonnebeke, with the support of the Flemish Government, organise various commemorative moments on the occasion of  ‘100 years Battle of Passchendaele’. During the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, more than 450,000 casualties fell during 100 days of heavy fighting. To commemorate this bloodiest battle of the First World War in Flanders, the MMP1917 put together a programme of official commemoration ceremonies and various cultural and educational activities.

"This year we expect a lot of international guests who come to our region in this important commemorative year. Because of this, but also in view of the further operation of the MMP1917 after the commemoration period, we have thoroughly overhauled and refreshed the museum and visitor center CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery", said Steven Vandenbussche, Director of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.

Commemorations and themed weekends

In cooperation with the GPS1917 vzw, the Belgian and Flemish Government and the nations involved the museum and the municipality of Zonnebeke organise various commemorative moments on the occasion ‘100 years Battle of Passchendaele’. Between 29 July and 12 November , in Zonnebeke / Passchendaele, five major commemorations, the Passchendaele weekend with Living History, a Scottish themed weekend with international tattoo and a Poppies' Run – In Memoriam Alex Decoteau will take place. On 3 June the temporary exhibition ‘1917. Total War in Flanders - Passchendaele, landscape at war’ opens. This exhibition is part of the total project “1917. Total war in Flanders”. Here seven municipalities in cooperation with Westtoer and the Province of West Flanders, bring the story of '1917' supported by exhibitions and information modules at major WWI museums and -sites in the Southern Westhoek.

Unique reflection at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery

On Saturday 14 October 'Silent City Meets Living City', an exceptional commemorative moment at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery, takes place. This cemetery in Passchendaele, with almost 12,000 graves and 35,000 names of missing is the largest cemetery of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the world. The MMP1917 and the municipality seek as many volunteers as possible to illuminate the headstones and the Tyne Cot Memorial during a serene sound and light show. Those who want to attend this unique and powerful moment of silence and reflection, must register on www.passchendaele2017.org.

"2017 will be a busy year for the museum and Zonnebeke. To inform visitors and residents, we use various means of communication such as print, the website www.passchendaele2017.org, our social media channels, information meetings, ambassadors ... For the preparations and the commemorations we are lucky to be able to count on colleagues from the museum, the municipality and the many volunteers of the GPS1917 ' concludes Sabine Vanderhaeghen, Alderman for Commemoration 14-18.

From left to right: Debbie Manhaeve, Sabine Vanderhaeghen and Steven Vandenbussche

For further information

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, Berten Pilstraat 5A, 8980 Zonnebeke, www.passchendaele.be