1917. The Passchendaele Year


We invite you to attend,on the 18th of May, the book-launch of the translation of the diary of Achiel Van Walleghem into English. This diary offers a personal documentary and highly individual witness to the terrible events in Flanders in 1917.

Achiel Van Walleghem was a village priest who lived in Reninghelst, just west of Ypres, and who kept a detailed account of events and attitudes. He was well informed by the officers lodging in his presbytery. Urged by his innate curiosity, he witnessed and noted the arrival of the first tanks and the increasing importance of the artillery. He also visited the camps of the Chinese Labour Corps and the British West Indies Regiment. On 7 June 1917 he awoke early to see the enormous mines of the Battle of Messines exploding. And he was present when a deserter was shot at dawn.

With the support of the research project Memex WWI – Experiences and Memories of the Great War in Belgium (financed by BELSPO), Van Walleghems writings from 1917 have now been translated from the original Dutch by Professor Guido Latré Professor of English Literature and Culture, and Susan Reed, researcher in English Linguistics.

The entry is free, but please register by writing an e-mail to the In Flanders Fields Museum (kenniscentrum@ieper.be)