ONE hundred years after the event, the Third Battle of Ypres will be re-enacted in Laois next month.
The Battle of Passchendaele was fought in July 1917. It is also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, but for those who were involved in the fighting it was known as the Battle of Mud.
It began on 31 July 1917 and continued until the fall of Passchendaele village on 6 November.
During World War I, which was known as ‘The War to End All Wars’, a 22-year-old Rathdowney man marched off to fight against the Germans. His name was John ‘Jack’ Moyney. He went on to attain the rank of lance sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards. He also won the Victoria Cross, the highest honour awarded to a solider in the British Army.
In recognition of his achievement and bravery, Bob’s Bar in Durrow and the Durrow High Nelly Club are co-hosting a re-enactment of the Third Battle of Ypres on Sunday 20 August. During the event more than 20 professional actors – all in period costume and military attire – will re-enact that great battle along the banks of the River Erkina.
A number of viewing options will available on the day. These include tickets for VIP areas at €10 each; spots at Bob Bar’s for €8; while a ticket for the bridge will set you back a fiver. Viewing spaces are limited so you have to book in advance to secure a place. Tickets and further information are available by contacting 087 6165484 or by emailing [email protected]
There will also be a High Nelly bicycle display and rally on the day. Everyone is welcome to take part and all the better if you can turn up in period or military dress.
Laois Heritage Office is also working with the Royal British Legion in Ireland and the Irish Guards on the preparation of a suitable commemoration to Sgt Moyney, which will be unveiled in his home town of Rathdowney on Tuesday 12 September.