Walter Shuttleworth was my great-uncle. He died on 11 October 1917 of wounds sustained during the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres). Walter was only 19 years old when he died, and was survived by his mother, two brothers (who also served during the war) and three sisters. On 11 October 2017 my father, my sister and I visited his grave at Nine Elms British Cemetery near Poperinge, to remember him and the many others who died during the Great War.
In the evening we attended the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, and laid a wreath in his honour.
The Last Post ceremony was dominated by the New Zealand commemoration of the centenary of Passchendaele. On 12 October 1917, hundreds of New Zealand men were killed in just a few hours, and the date has come to be known as the darkest day in its military history.
We stayed overnight at Talbot House in Poperinge, which served as a soldiers’ rest and recreation centre during the war, and is now a museum and ‘bed and breakfast’.
Walter kept a diary for the year 1917 which is available to read online at The Great War Diary of Walter Shuttleworth.
To see more photos of our trip, please visit my flickr album.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.