Revisiting The Western Front

Last year, I visited Ypres and the surrounding area for the Passchendaele 100th anniversary commemorations.  There was more to see and do than I could fit into that weekend, so a year later I returned to tick off the missing items:  The 6km "Canadian Road to Passchendaele" signposted walk, Essex Farm cemetery and dressing station, … Continue reading Revisiting The Western Front

Frank Thomas Beale: A Fallen War Hero

Frank Thomas Beale, 1889-1916 Waggoner and Soldier of Beckley, Sussex, and my great uncle. My great grandfather, Frederick, survived the war.  Several of my other relatives were not so lucky.  Frank Thomas Beale was my great uncle, my father's mother's brother.  He was the oldest child, and only son, of Percy and Phoebe Beale, who … Continue reading Frank Thomas Beale: A Fallen War Hero

Passchendaele100

My great grandfather, Frederick Allen Downing, survived the Battle of Passchendaele. Half a million soldiers, mostly from Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, did not.  I joined Guided Battlefield Tours for their Passchendale Centenary Tour and went to pay my respects to his fallen comrades.  If Frederick had never returned home, my grandfather … Continue reading Passchendaele100