Soldier forged from mud marks cen­te­nary of bat­tle

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

A MUD soldier sculp­ture has been un­veiled in London to com­mem­o­rate the cen­te­nary of the bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele, where thou­sands of Aus­tralian sol­diers lost their lives in the dead­li­est bat­tle of World War I.

Made from sand and mud from the bat­tle­field in Flan­ders Fields in Bel­gium, the sculp­ture ( right) out­side the Na­tional Gallery will slowly dis­solve over the course of four days, a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the rain and mud as­so­ci­ated with the bat­tle 100 years ago. It was re­vealed to the pub­lic

at 8.30am London time ( 5.30pm AEST) by mem­bers of VISITFLANDERS tourism body and the West­min­ster City Coun­cil.

“We will never be able to com­pre­hend the hor­rific con­di­tions sol­diers faced dur­ing that bat­tle but this sculp­ture is a fit­ting trib­ute to their sac­ri­fice,” West­min­ster’s Armed Forces Cham­pion Rachael Ro­bathan said at the un­veil­ing.

The Third Bat­tle of Ypres, known as the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele, was in­fa­mous for the scale of its ca­su­al­ties and muddy bat­tle­fields.

An es­ti­mated 38,000 Aus­tralians died, among al­most 500,000 sol­diers who fell as rain turned craters and trenches into a sea of mud, leav­ing many of the men to drown.

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