The Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) began on 31st July 1917 and was a British offensive which aimed to breach the German lines and then advance to the Belgain cost and the German submarine bases: British shipping losses could no longer be sustained.
As usual, the attach was preceded by a ten day barrage by 3,000 guns using over 4 metre shells so there was no element of surprise.
At 3.30am on 31st July 1917, the Allies advanced over 18 kilometre front with 12 Divisions. The advance was stopped by heavy rain, the worst in 30 years, which churned up an area already devastated by the bombardment which had wrecked the drainage system. Men and tanks could not move forward and stalemate ensued.
The fighting fizzled out in November with over 500,000 men killed or missing from both sides. Many from Crewe.
On Monday 31st July 2017, the Mayor of Crewe and Crewe Town Council invites residents to join them on Memorial Square at 11am to mark our respects to those that fell.
We will remember them