Apollo Battlefield Guide

Light Dispelling Darkness

A place to discuss, share and develop knowledge, resources and links to WW1 History and the Western Front Battlefields.


Simply join up as an Apollo member (it's free)...and blogs away!

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Exploring the battlefield around Wipers

Posted by apollobattlefieldguide on August 1, 2014 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear readers of the Apollo blog

Greetings and best wishes to you all! It has been a very busy time and with the big 100th anniversary here NOW we anticipate to be even busier yet!

We are just about to publish one of our colleague's battlefield 'travelogue' articles on Apollo's Bugle.

https://tinyletter.com/ApolloBattlefieldGuide

If you haven't signed up, please do so...if you have  - thanks for your patience and enjoy!

Best wishes,

Apollo Battlefield Guide

have you noticed?

Posted by Tony Nutkins on April 22, 2014 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (2)

Hello Mike,

I was waiting for a comment about my avatar photograph - have you worked out who it is yet?



A warm welcome to pending members...and a request

Posted by apollobattlefieldguide on July 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear members and readers,

Just a quick post to say hi to all and to welcome some pending members. Please sign up and don't forget to choose an avatar for yourself (see Mikey or Viva la Vida for example!) Also, we are now approaching the time when we might be able to finally get up our first Apollo's Bugle newsletter (have been waiting for some members and trying to elicit some material!) Been tricky when out on the battlefields so often! If you have something of interest (poetry, essays, stories, photos etc) then please feel free to submit them to us. Send any material through to enquiries@apollo-battlefield-guide.com. Cheerio for now...and more coming very soon!

Battlefield Tourism?Centenary Commemorations?some ruminations.

Posted by apollobattlefieldguide on May 28, 2013 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

What should be a period of remembrance and reverence is in danger of becoming an excuse for a good time. An opportunity to party. Ten to twelve thousand Anzacs are expected at Gallipoli in April 2015 - that is without the British and French. Yes, the French - they lost more than the Anzacs at Gallipoli, so they do have a right! Gallipoli will be in danger of being overwhelmed by the visitors. Similar scenarios are likely to occur in Europe.

Apollo sees 'mushroom' tour guides appearing on the Western Front giving information to their clients that is either clearly wrong or at the very least severely lacking. One blatant example - “the names you see on the grave stones are not necessarily the person buried there, they buried them anywhere”. Another, at Pozieres, - “the Germans came from that direction and attacked the Australians here at the windmill”. Such instances are too many to mention here.

These ‘mushrooms’ will probably disappear into the beyond after 2018, but the upcoming WW1 anniversaries do give an opportunity for exploitation. One could argue that the war gave some French/Belgians similar chances! (The French, for example, exploited Allied troops by supplying watered down wine at exorbitant prices. This caused a lasting bitterness).

Apollo notes that a football match has been arranged in Belgium to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the 1914 Christmas truce. Is this ‘right’? What do readers think? How many players/spectators will be remembering those early days of the war when soldiers of both sides still had an element of 'mate-ship'? Should events be allowed to take place in this form?

There should, indeed must, be remembrance, but what do you think is the proper way of remembering? Will the 4 years of commemoration produce a negative after-effect where the battles and battlefields of the Great War will simply fade into oblivion? A Great War burnout?

Hopelessness - November 1917

Posted by Tony Nutkins on May 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

And still it rains; the soft Flanders rain that never stops. The rain runs in rivulets down the sides of my shell hole and the water level rises. The clinging mud turns to slime inches deep on the tracks that have become skating rinks. Everything that was soaking is soaked and soaked again. Sandbags rot, our clothing, weapons and equipment rot. Our rations, such as they are, rot. Our feet rot. Animals rot. Brass grows verdigris; iron and steel rust. But the guns never stop. The stench of decay and hopelessness, constant, unchanging, is in every rotten breath. The water is up to my waist now. So, I wrap my rotting self in my rotting ground sheet and attempt to switch off my rotting brain. Oh sleep! Will you not come?

© Tony Nutkins May 2013

Homecomings from war...songs

Posted by Winnie on April 24, 2013 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Thought you might like this Mikey - your pal Eric Bogle features.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/postwar-experience-proves-fertile-ground-for-songwriters-20130424-2ienq.html

Cheers my friend - and happy guiding on the WF...


Anzac Day 2013

Posted by apollobattlefieldguide on April 24, 2013 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We read with interest the array of articles coming out in Australia concerning Anzac Day.

Apollo site member Winnie tells us that it's the usual mix of either fiercely pro-Anzac (or viciously anti-Anzac) rhetoric - where the true meaning of the day (at least for the countless number who wish to spend the day in genuine remembrance and commemoration) seems to get lost in a torrent of political and social commentary/argument. While Anzac is, always has been and doubtless always will be a contested topic, we know that many of our friends (either in the UK, on the WF, at Gallipoli and of course in Australia and New Zealand) will be gearing up to remember those who have served proudly over the years.

Please find here for your perusal a small sample of articles (from Australian media sources) that have been published online recently and that pertain to Anzac Day. Whatever you are doing tomorrow - on the WF like Mikey, atop a mountain at a Memorial Cross Dawn Service like Winnie - Apollo hopes that we can all spare a thought for those who have served and died in the service of their country.

Lest we Forget

Topical

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-24/corporal-ben-roberts-smith/4649468

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/anzac-day-childrens-fiction-20130420-2i6l3.html

Commemoration

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/anzac-day-why-it-still-resonates-20130424-2ie7g.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-24/small-memorials-growing-in-significance/4649690

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-24/tyne-cot-cemetery-the-silent-city/4647758

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/anzac-day-over-the-top-takes-on-new-meaning-20130420-2i77z.html

Anzac beyond remembrance and commemoration

http://www.theage.com.au/national/dont-celebrate-anzac-day-muslim-group-20130424-2iee0.html

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/libs-reignite-culture-wars-over-anzac-day-teaching-20130422-2iaro.html

Sportsmen in Paradise

Posted by Tony Nutkins on March 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Should have remembered this poem on the Sportsmen's Tour last year...

 

They left the fury of the fight,

And they were very tired.

The gates of heaven were open, quite

Unguarded and unwired.

There was no sound of any gun;

The land was still and green;

Wide hills lay silent in the sun,

Blue valleys slept between.

 

They saw far off a little wood

Stand up against the sky.

Knee-deep in grass a great tree stood...

Some lazy cows went by...

There were some Rooks sailed overhead -

And once a church-bell pealed.

"God! but it's England", someone said,

"And there's a cricket field!"

 

 

Congrats Mike Kelly on your song release - CD and iTunes

Posted by Winnie on March 3, 2013 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi Mike,

Congrats on the release of your fab new song. You have worked very hard on this and the final product is superb.

I am the proud owner of this on itunes (CD on way too) and I already have some of the lyrics and the tune stuck in my head!

Now...just need to get back in person to Wipers! Until then, "Ghosts" will serve as my 'gate' to this special place....

Ghosts of the Menin Gate

Posted by apollobattlefieldguide on February 13, 2013 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Exciting news folks! Mike Kelly of Apollo Battlefield Guide has completed his brand new single, The Ghosts of the Menin Gate. It will be available very soon for purchase from the Apollo webstore and you can listen to a 'sneak peek' clip and see the CD cover art on the Apollo website on the 'Remembrance' page.

In Mike's own words explaining the origins of the song...


"One cold February evening a few years ago,  I was at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. There was only a few dozen hardy people to witness the sounding of the Ypres firemen playing the Last Post as a final salute to the fallen of the Great War. I have guided many groups of pilgrims over the last fifteen years and I have witnessed their many emotions. Some of these have affected me personally, and I fervently believe that the Menin Gate is the Spiritual home of the Mighty Fallen of the Great War. On this occasion, I remembered the moving painting by the Australian artist Will Longstaff in which he depicts the ghostly silhouttes of soldiers who had been killed and were now gathered around the Menin Gate, as though the Gate would be the hub of their ghostly existence forever. Through the mist of the night I thought I saw the spectre of a WW1 soldier standing against the stonework, and I went away with a deep feeling that I had been touched by the spirits of those names carved on the panels. By 9th July 2015, the Last Post at the Menin Gate will have been sounded by the buglers an amazing 30,000 times since 1928. This song is a tribute to the faith and dedication of the buglers, the memory of those killed in the war to end all wars, and to all of you who by your attendance, your pilgrimage and your determination not to let their sacrifice fade away, have shown you have big, big hearts."


We at Apollo Battlefield Guide congratulate Mike for his fine achievement - and we know just how important it is to him to commemorate and honour The Fallen of the Great War. We feel he has done this superbly with this moving song.


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