From 31 July to 20 August 1917, three out of four major Scottish divisions were involved almost simultaneously in the Battle of Passchendaele. To commemorate this involvement, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, the municipality of Zonnebeke, the GPS1917 and the Legion Scotland (RBLS), with the support of the Flemish Government, organised, on 19 and 20 August, the themed weekend 'The Long Road to Passchendaele' in Zonnebeke. Figurehead of the weekend was Jimmy Speirs, former player of among others Glasgow Rangers and Bradford City, who fell during the Battle of Passchendaele.
On Saturday at 3.30 pm the official Scottish ceremony began at the Scottish monument at Frezenberg. This monument was erected 10 years ago on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Battle of Passchendaele. In the presence of Minister Ben Weyts and other dignitaries, the monument 'The Long Road To Passchendaele' was unveiled on Saturday. This new monument consists of a number of silhouettes made of corten steel, each with a height of approximately 260 cm. Among others images of war photographers such as Hurley and Brooke served as the basis for the design. The soldiers 'march' in 'single file' towards Passendale and CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery, on a route that was 100 years ago one of the access roads to the nearby front. A ‘massed pipe band’ of about 100 pipers and drummers graced the ceremony.
The massed pipe bands.
Also the Ypres Surrey Pipes & Drums.
Speeches and songs at the monument.
Mayor Dirk Sioen and alderman Sabine Vanderhaeghen.
A song by Alan Brydon
Minister Ben Weyts representing the Government of Flanders.
Unveiling of a memorial plaque at the monument.
The British Ambassador Alison Rose was also at the ceremony.
Unveiling of the new monument.
From each country a soldier was unveiled: Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Scotland, Australia, ...
The Last Post
Laying of the wreaths.
At the end: the bands marching off.
And a few group photos at the monument.
Page made by Willy Roets.