For many, just the name Passchendaele sums up the horrors of the First World War and in her recent work Alexandra Churchill has taken at look at the horrors endured by a selection of the men who served and often died in that hellish place.

Troops move into position against a backdrop of shattered trees.


The Third Battle of Ypres, commonly just known as “Passchendaele”, has become a watchword for the attritional and wasteful horror of The Great War. Critics at the time described it as ‘purposeless’, ‘a reckless gamble… with nothing to show but a ghastly casualty list,’ or ‘a muddy and muddle-headed adventure.’ Since the latter half of 1917, however, it has been dissected and evaluated from all angles; the planning, the execution, the conditions and the reasoning behind it. All have been called into question.

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