Ypres: Across the Messines Ridge

In this episode we walk from the village of Wytschaete (‘Whitesheet’ to the soldiers), along part of the Messines Ridge, scene of fighting in 1917, and visit three small battlefield cemeteries, reflecting on how we connect with these comrade’s burial grounds of the Great War.


Podcast Extras:

22 Comments on “Ypres: Across the Messines Ridge

  1. As always, absolutely fascinating, thank you. Your podcasts bring to life the human beings who sacrificed so much in the Great War and the stories behind the names on the headstones and memorials are riveting. They sharpen the appreciation of the tragic loss of so many far too young. A wonderful, informative and deeply moving podcast.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely my pleasure. I found this episode particularly moving as my great uncle, Private WIlliam Anderson of 8th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, fought at Messiness and I believe was mentioned in dispatches for his actions there. He was killed a couple of months later in the early stages of the Third Battle of Ypres, aged 19. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate.


  2. Hello Paul, Steve from Hamilton Canada here. Relative of Herbert Douglas Fearman of the 19th Btn CEF. Excellent podcast and I like following the map you installed in the post. Just to let you know, some of the location names you said are not on the map. For example where you put the starting point MINER, you name a village and I do not see the term so I was not sure which end of your route you were starting from. Perhaps you could have said, we begin our walk at my map point called MINER. However, I suspect you made the map after you recorded. Also, where is Messine Ridge? Could you have drawn a line on it in some way? Where were the nearby trenches?

    Thanks for another excellent podcast. I would like to come to the area for a few months and take in everywhere? Is that possible for someone like me to come with my wife and stay throughout the vast area of the Western Front ? Who could help me plan a walking driving type tour like that with time in villages, cafes and Bed and Breakfasts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John – thanks for your comments and feedback on the map. It’s a work in progress and hopefully they’ll get better. I can’t overlay trenches or positions on this unfortunately- that would be quite some task! Regarding a few months on the battlefields – you could certainly get a lot done in that time but again planning that would be a big task and I guess someone would have to charge you for that?


      • Hopefully the feature will soon allow you to draw some lines on it and create an arrow to show what direction you are walk from and to. I liked following your walk.


    • Can I suggest you check out the Toc H website in Poperinge great for a place to stay and also to research the battlefields and cemeteries, also check out the CWGC website full of information, there are many tour guides in the area.


  3. Hello Paul,
    I’m a follower of your excellent podcasts and being an Indian, I’m indebted to you for throwing light on the contribution of Indian soldiers to the Great War. I sincerely appreciate your work in keeping alive the history of that period for future generations to follow and understand.
    Keep up the good work!
    Vij Athiyarath

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To all those that contribute comments I along with a few of our Pipeband will be playing the Lament at the Menin Gate for the Last Post ceremony during November 2021 and where possible we will try to play in memory of your loved ones.🙏
    Quis Separabit
    Faugh a Ballagh

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks again Paul, another fascinating walk. The map was very helpful with the starting point etc saving a virtual catch up….thanks for taking my comment on board. The extra work is very much appreciated.
    Take care & thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If you can recall Paul, on one of the Ledger tours with the Henry Williamson Society, we stopped at a casualty clearing station called The Cornstores. I did a reading there and would love to know where that was, so I can locate it on Google Earth.
    Love the podcasts
    Best wishes
    Ron Slater

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you mean the Hop Store, Ron. It appears in Love and the Loveless. It’s at Vlamertinghe, and there is a cemetery of this name close by.


  7. Think the maps are an excellent addition Paul. Really useful for those who want to follow in your footsteps. They are also really clear too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for an excellent virtual walk. I really liked the map as well. Kilts over the Jordon is available from Naval and Military Press Ltd as a reprint for £5.50. P and P is £3.85 I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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