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Historian on the trail of an old battle (MMP/PA)

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Auteur Bericht

Geregistreerd op: 17-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Aug 2006 7:30    Onderwerp: Historian on the trail of an old battle (MMP/PA) Reageer met quote

Historian on the trail of an old battle

English historian Philip Brazier is seeking photographs and records of Battle of Passchendaele casualties, such as that held by his former Mt Somers host mother, Rhonda Reveley.
Photo Carmen Rooney Photo available Ashburton Guardian

By Susan Sandys
Visiting the Belgian battlefields of Passchendaele as a teenager was a life-changing experience for English historian Philip Brazier.
Mr Brazier is staying at Mt Somers and while in Mid Canterbury is seeking any photographs residents may have of ancestors killed or wounded in the Battle of Passchendaele.
Mr Brazier is associated with the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 near Ypres in Belgium. The museum is undertaking a project called the Passchendaele Archives and is seeking photographs, letters, personal papers and reminiscences owned by descendents of those killed or wounded in the battle.
Mr Brazier is in Mid Canterbury as part of a personal overseas trip, returning to the area he worked in as an exchange teacher three years ago. He taught at Mt Somers Springburn School while boarding at Peter and Rhonda Reveley’s house.
But as soon as the Belgian museum staff heard he was going to be in Canterbury, they asked if he could seek any documentation in the area relating to Passchendaele.
“They said – if you are going can you do a bit of multi-tasking for us,” Mr Brazier said.
And with the high number of Mid Canterbury soldiers involved in the battle, Mr Brazier has not had to look far. Already his former host family has been able to dig out photos of a relative who was wounded in the battle – William Bishop, who was the grandfather of Rhonda Reveley.
Mr Brazier said on the morning of October 12, 1917, more than 4000 New Zealanders died at Passchendaele. About half of these were from Canterbury, with many others from Otago.
“Most of them are South Island boys, so I thought while I’m down here I will try and get them recognised,” he said.
Mr Brazier said visiting the site of Passchendaele as part of a school trip when he was a teenager changed his life.
In Tyne Cot cemetery on Passchendaele Ridge there is a wall of 35,000 names – a memorial to the missing – many of them New Zealanders.
He was overwhelmed by the huge loss of life the memorial represented. It was at this point he decided he would like to study the battle further, and the seeds for his future career as an historian were sown.
“It changed me. Anything I can do since then for preserving the memory (of the battle) …,” he said.
“We should never forget.”
Passchendaele 1917 was one of the great conflicts of World War One. One hundred days of heavy fighting resulted in over half a million Allied casualties for a gain of only a few miles.
The New Zealand Division fought in two separate attacks on October 4 and 12.
“The first was successful, but the second failed due to unbroken barbed wire, deep mud, undamaged German machine-gun bunkers and artillery fire,” Mr Brazier said.
Among the New Zealand casualties was David Gallagher, the captain of the 1905 All Black originals.
Those with any relevant photographs or documents for records can contact the museum at
August 9 2006
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Regulus 1

Geregistreerd op: 17-7-2005
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Woonplaats: Jabbeke, Flanders - Home of the Marine Jagdgeschwader in WW I

BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Aug 2006 18:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Passchendaele archives, hmm dat komt mij precies bekend voor... Evil
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