(Sorry about the odd placeholder – the video is fine!)
Monday 30th July – On the first day of our pilgrimage we decided to start with the Passchendaele museum in Zonnebeke. It was a great museum with a useful audio guide included in the price. The Chateau is set in pretty grounds with paths to other areas of interest.
We decided to walk to Tyne Cot from here but after a while we realised that the wather was a bit too warm for such adventures so returned to the car. We drove to Tyne Cot armed with my wreath and the cemetery map I had had for some time.
One of the first things we spotted was a memorial to the Sherwood Foresters which I didn’t realise was there.
The visitor centre was nice but not what I expected. It would have been nice to understand more about how the cemetery was created and the wonderful work of the CWGC. Our first hurdle was trying to get into the cemetery – we nearly had to resort to jumping the small surrounding wall but resorted to going in though the exit instead!
It is a breathtaking sight once you enter the cemetery. However, the experience was marred by two further issues: the numbering of the rows is somewhat random and neither of us could figure it out, the second challenge was that we could not get our bearings as to where the map I had related to the arrangement of headstones. Somewhat hot and bothered I then looked at the map with fresh eyes. Oh dear! because I had grown up always believing James was in Tyne Cot it had blinded me to the very clear title of the plan I had….he was in Track X cemetery which is not part of Tyne Cot at all…it is somewhere completely different!
Our next stop was to find where he fell…but that was not straight forward either! A kind person had done some research for me on where and exactly when he died and gave us a location which we visited today. however, looking at the landscpe, maps and other information we had this turned out not to be correct.
Hopefully a more successful day tomorrow!