Large candles were placed on the illuminated Cross of Sacrifice during 'Silent City Meets Living City' at Tyne Cot, while smaller candles lit the headstones (Photo © Wilfried Manhaeve)

Candles light Tyne Cot in memory of Passchendaele

Posted on on 16 October 2017
Share |

More than 7,000 people have taken part in a candle-lit evening of reflection at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium, remembering soldiers who fell at the Battle of Passchendaele 100 years ago.

The names of the fallen commemorated at the world's largest Commonwealth war cemetery were illuminated for Silent City Meets Living City on 14 October 2017.

Musicians and performers, many of them local children, took part in the First World War Centenary event, organised by the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and the municipality of Zonnebeke.

It was an evening that combined traditional and modern - there was the Ode of Remembrance and also a version of rock band Iron Maiden's Paschendale, with a choir of 65 children and two guitarists. 


"We never told people exactly what was going to happen during Silent City Meets Living City. We wanted to create special moments to make people aware that it is necessary that we never forget," said project coordinator Debbie Manhaeve. 

"Although there were more than 7,000 people present, it was extremely quiet. That silence was very impressive."

For Pierre and Elizabeth Rouvillois, relatives of Corporal George Warwick, a British soldier commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, it was a 'unique moment.'

"We often visit the CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery and we only know it by its countless gravestones. Yesterday we discovered a complete other place, full of living people standing in front of these gravestones. We had another perception of what is called 'giving your life for liberty'.

"This moment of sympathy and reflection stays etched in our memory, just like the names of these brave soldiers, such as our grandfather, who have been honoured during last night’s ceremony."

'Silent City Meets Living City' was part of continuing WW1 events and projects in Flanders commemorating the Centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. The commemorations culminate next month with a Canadian remembrance ceremony on November 10, marking the 100th anniversary of the capture of Passchendaele village and the end of the battle. For more information about all events, see Passchendaele 2017.

Also in Centenary News:

New Zealand commemorates its darkest day at Passchendaele.

UK Centenary service remembers Passchendaele loss & sacrifice.

Australia pledges new Menin Gate Lions for Ypres.

Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, is cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, CWGC.

Source: Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

Images ©, courtesy of Wilfried Manhaeve

Posted by: CN Editorial Team