The Welsh at Passchendaele – 1917
Jonathan Hicks Other books by Jonathan Hicks
This detailed work brings together the personal experiences, poignant stories, vivid accounts and photographs of soldiers who fought at the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres) which lasted from 31 July to 10 November 1917 in the battalions of the Welsh regiments and their supporting detachments, as well as those men of Welsh origin who served in other regiments. The word 'Passchendaele' has become a byword for the death and suffering of the Great War. A remorseless slog by Allied soldiers up towards the village itself, through mud, rain, cold, and dead bodies, it was the most horrific of battles. By the time the fighting in this sector paused on 10 November 1917, hundreds of thousands of men on both sides had been killed or wounded. The landscape was scarred and desolate, and the men who fought there and survived would never forget the experience.
"There are two lasting impressions from the book's immense detail. The first is of the awful quagmire of that battlefield, with “decomposing bodies built into the walls of trenches, constant enemy shelling, food sodden with muddy water, sniping, a waterlogged country of shellcraters . . . and death from exposure.” The other is of the many brilliant and idealistic young men who sacrificed everything in a cause in which they believed.
This is a book about the reality of conflict, the human loss, the suffering and all that is wasteful in war. " - Gwyn Griffiths, Morning Star