BRITISH soldiers killed at Passchendaele were remembered yesterday on the centenary of the start of the WWI battle in Belgium.
More than half a million men from both sides were killed or injured in more than 100 days of fighting in the rain-sodden summer and autumn of 1917.
The Tyne Cot cemetery near the Belgian village is the largest Commonwealth burial ground in the world, with 11,971 servicemen buried and remembered there, 8,373 of whom are unidentified.
An account by Private Bert Ferns of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who fought in the battle, was read out by Fusilier Shaun Mclorie.
He said: “I staggered up the hill and then dropped over the slope into a sort of gully. It was here that I froze and became very frightened because a big shell had just burst and blown a group of lads to bits; there were bits of men all over the place, a terrible sight, men just blown to nothing.
“I just stood there. It was still and misty, and I could taste their blood in the air.”