In the early hours of 16th June 1915, Allied forces began an attack on a ridge with the aim of depriving the German army of their excellent views that extended all the way to Ypres across the Allied lines. This was the Battle of Bellewaarde.
In short, a battlefield half mile square, 4000 allied casualties, 25% killed in action in less than 12 hours and the majority have no known grave. From the German side it would appear that 600-800 fatalities occurred, but more accurate records cannot be found. A very sad story that was lost in time and men who, for the majority, not remembered. These men came from Great Britain and Germany.
The charity (Bellewaarde 1915) aims to give people who wish to pay their respects to those who lost their lives that day, a memorial to both British and German soldiers who have no known grave and a place to remember those who survived. The memorial will be located on the southern edge of the battlefield at The Hooge Crater Museum, on the Menin Road, who have kindly donated a plot of land for it to stand.
The memorial will not only remember the battle and the fallen, but it will also represent the reconciliation of both sides and strengthen the heritage of Britain, Germany and Belgium.
It is more important than ever to remember those times in other ways now that they cannot be passed by word of mouth from those who experienced them. The battles and the horrors they experienced. The friends they lost. Bellewaarde 1915 need to do everything they possibly can to ensure that those people and their stories are never forgotten and remain in the lives and memories of future generations rather than being consigned to words of folklore and hearsay, losing all accuracy and meaning.
So to support this, 3 bronze cast statues adorning an inscribed plinth for the Bellewaarde 1915 memorial will be a physical representation of both British and German uniformed soldiers, accurate to the last detail. Something physical and tangible that people can visit, see and touch. Something that will exist for generation after generation to come, long after the unveiling on the centenary of the battle, 16th June 2015 at the Hooge Crater Museum.
For Bellewaarde 1915 to be able to achieve this they need media support to help them trace as many decedents of the fallen and those who survived as possible, many will be unaware of the details of what happened and may find closure and comfort to finally know what their ancestor went through. They also need donations and sponsorship to help them realise all their goals.
More information to Bellewaarde 1915
Visit their website The Battle of Bellewaarde or on Facebook Bellewaarde 1915 (WW1 Group). If you are able to help them in their quest in any way, please contact Martin Clift by email at: [email protected] or contact us.