The Mud Soldier
The Battle of Passchendaele was infamous for the scale of its casualties and muddy battlefields. The battle took place on the Western Front in Flanders Fields, Belgium, between 31 July and 10 November 1917, and was one of the First World War's most bloody battles. Today, it is difficult for us to envisage its scale in which almost 500,000 men were either killed, injured or simply went missing.
The Battle of Passchendaele encapsulated a scale of grief that was unprecedented at the time and there was no doubt that the wet conditions that prevailed, were a significant contributing factor in its overall cost. The persistent heavy rain that fell at the time, created thick sludge-like mud. Men and horses literally drowned in mud-baths during the relentless warfare which resulted in a battlefield territorial gain of just 5 miles/8 kilometres. The shocking conditions were poignantly captured by English poet-soldier Siegfried Sassoon, who wrote: "I died in hell. They called it Passchendaele".
We created the Mud Soldier to commemorate those who fought during the Battle of Passchendaele. Crafted with sand mixed with mud from Passchendaele, Flanders Fields, this unique expression of art is displayed on the North Terrace of London's Trafalgar Square for just four days, 25th - 28th of July. During the course of this time, the Mud Soldier, will slowly dissolve as it is exposed to rain.
The Mud Soldier symbolizes the suffering, but also the courage and perseverance of those who fought and died in the Battle of Passchendaele. We wish to commemorate their bravery, struggle and sacrifice.
Don’t let their memory fade.
More about the commemoration of #Passchendaele100.