Battle of Passchendaele: 'If you visit now, you won't believe the horrors of 100 years ago', says Tony Robinson

Battle of Passchendaele: 'If you visit now you won't believe horrors went on 100 years ago', says Tony Robinson

The Battle of Passchendaele was part of the First World War

Friday, November 10, 2017

Actor and presenter Tony Robinson has said if you visited the area now where the Battle of Passchendaele took place you wouldn't believe the horror that went on 100 years ago.

Today (November 10) marks 100 years since the end of the Battle of Passchendaele. British and Canadian troops were fighting against the Germans as part of the First World War in Belgium, resulting in the deaths of roughly 275,000 under British command, and 220,000 Germans.

Robinson told Paul Ross: "If you go there now It is the epitome of the little bourgeois nice European village...you just couldn't believe that something as horrendous as did occur there actually happened."

He explained that at the time of the battle "the mud was so thick that tanks weren’t able to operate in it at all. An awful lot of the engineering just kind of packed up."

Despite this "some historians do say although it knocked the stuffing out of us it completely knocked the stuffing out of the Germans and they lost their will to fight, many of them."

Robinson added that there is now a "golden snapshot of all the people who weren’t able to vote in the war" as volunteers pulled together lists created at the time of soldiers for voting. "They give incredible detail of who the people were, who went what way, what regiments they were in and what they did."

He also believes poppies should be worn "to celebrate not the militaries but the sacrifices of all those people who died" as "I think it's quite justifiable that they should be remembered."

Listen to the full interview above

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