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Gun crew at Passchendaele


A gun crew struggles in the mud at Passchendaele, October 1917. In the regimental history, New Zealand artillery in the field (p. 197), Lieutenant J.R. Byrne gives an evocative description of the conditions encountered during this battle:

The whole countryside was one vast quagmire, and the roads were little better. The employment of horses was out of the question, as they sank up to their bellies at almost the first step, and some even were submerged and lost in the seemingly bottomless mire. … The Pioneers, two hundred strong, and the gunners devoted their whole strength to each gun in turn, and it required the united effort of this powerful team to drag the gun along foot by foot.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference no: PAColl-2667-014
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image

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Gun crew at Passchendaele, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated