Brendan Nelson Encourages Australians to Visit Flanders Fields to Commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele In 2017
VISITFLANDERS has collaborated with Australian War Memorial Director and former ambassador to Belgium Dr Brendan Nelson to produce a moving video to honour the legacy of Australians who fought in the notorious Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
In the video, Dr Nelson takes viewers on a journey through some of the most significant sites and memorials associated with the battle including the Menin Gate, Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and Polygon Wood Cemetery. The video has been produced to coincide with the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele which takes place next year.
Dr Nelson says of the battle “it was said that hell now has a name: it’s called Passchendaele,” and goes on to add that “there’s no more special place on earth outside of Australia than here” referring to the area known as Flanders Fields where the battle took place.
The battle took place at various locations throughout Flanders Fields, with Australian divisions participating in battles around Ypres, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcapelle and Passchendaele. 38,000 Australian casualties were amassed in eight weeks of fighting. The Battle of Passchendaele became not only infamous for the scale of casualties, but also the crippling muddy landscape it was played out over.
“We are honoured to have produced such a moving video with Dr Nelson,” says Lea Winkeler, VISITFLANDERS project manager, The Great War Centenary.
“The centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele represents an extremely important part in Australia’s WW1 history. To have Dr Nelson assist us in commemorating the battle’s centenary in 2017 is something we are truly grateful for.”