SQUIRE nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.
At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’ ... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?
By Siegfried Sassoon
An aerial view of the Belgian town Passchendaele c1916.
Many of the buildings seen here have suffered from heavy shelling but still stand.
By October 1917 they were all reduced to rubble.
A bombed street in Passchendaele -The front and back of a postcard written by a German soldier in February 1916.
More devastation in the town of Passchendaele. The church is pictured in the background.
The ruins of Passchendaele Church - note the two German soldiers standing among the rubble.
These images are the front and back of a postcard written by a German soldier of
11 Company, Reserve Infantry Regiment 236, in April 1915.
It bears the postmark of the German 51st Reserve Division.
Another view of the bomb-damaged church in Passchendaele.