The Passchendaele Salute

On 10th November 2017 a 100 gun salute was fired near Lille in Northern France, marking the centenary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele.

The salute featured a number of restored artillery pieces dating back to the Great War which had been specially assembled for the occasion.

In total, 16 restored guns were fired by (mostly) battlefield reenactors from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and France.

The keen-eyed may have spotted a contingent of HAC members on the BBC news coverage of the event in the form of John Summers, Neil Treasure, Dale Clarke and John Butler (left) who manned John Butler's restored 18-pdr field gun.

About The Battle of Passchendaele

The battle to seize Passchendaele ridge raged for over three months and cost the lives of as many as 475,000 soldiers. A combination of shellfire (a million shells were fired during the battle) and the worst rain in 30 years turned the battlefield into a hellish quagmire. Mud was up to soldiers' thighs and many of the half a million victims drowned.
A hundred years on Passchendaele is judged a strategic and tragic failure, but the soldiers who perished in such appalling conditions are not forgotten.

The centenary Passchendaele Salute was partly in aid of raising awareness and funds for Combat Stress.