In The Footsteps Of Samuel Frickleton (New Zealand)

Samuel Frickleton was born in 1891 in Slamannan, Scotland. In 1908, his family emigrated to New Zealand, where he worked as a miner. When the First World War broke out, he volunteered together with his four brothers for active service. After briefly being involved in the fighting at Gallipoli in 1915, he was sent home as being ‘medically unfit’. However, in April 1916, he re-enlisted and was posted to the 3rd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

On 7 June 1917, his unit took part in the Mine Battle. Despite being wounded during the initial assault on the village of Mesen, Frickleton took further part in the attack. When the New Zealanders were temporarily held up, he single-handedly knocked out two German machine gun positions. For his bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest British military decoration for gallantry. After being wounded two more times, he was evacuated from the battlefield and shipped to a hospital in Great Britain. Because of the seriousness of his wounds, he could never return to the front. He eventually recovered and died in 1971.


10.00 – 12.00: Mesen Tourist Information Point

The info-point in Mesen highlights the most important events in the history of the town during the Great War. Within the framework of the project '1917, Total War in Flanders', a temporary exhibition entitled '100 New Zealand Faces of Messines' focuses attention on the impact of the First World War in New Zealand through the telling of more than 100 individual stories. A walking circuit starts at the TIP and takes visitors to the town church, the Irish Peace Park and the New Zealand Memorial Park.

Markt 1 – 8957 Mesen

12.00 – 13.30: Lunch

14.00 – 15.00: Polygon Wood

In the heart of Polygon Wood stand Buttes New British Cemetery and the New Zealand Memorial, commemorating 383 missing soldiers of the New Zealand Division. On top of the butte itself, there is a memorial to the memory of the 5th Australian Division. The wood also contains several wartime bunkers. On the other side of the road stands the smaller Polygon Wood Cemetery. A Dawn Service is held here every year on ANZAC Day (25 April).

Lange Dreve 5 – 8980 Zonnebeke

New Zealand Memorial, 's Gravenstafel

This monument in the hamlet of ’s Graventafel remembers the role played by the New Zealand Division in the Battle of Broodseinde (4 October 1917). This attack by ANZAC troops allowed the Allies to make an important advance during the second phase of the offensive against Passendale. However, the offensive broke down just days later, as a result of insufficient preparation and a lack of further resources.

’s Graventafelstraat – 8980 Zonnebeke (Passendale)

15.00 – 16.30: Tyne Cot Cemetery

This Commonwealth cemetery is the most important witness to the bloody Battle of Passendale. The nearby visitors centre offers a unique view across the old battlefields and tells in words and images the poignant story of Tyne Cot Cemetery and the dead of the Passendale offensive. As part of the project '1917, Total War in Flanders', an interactive panorama panel tells the equally tragic story of the landscape in 1917. 

Tynecotstraat 22 - 8980 Zonnebeke (Passendale) 

Do you need more inspiration? Here you can find some additional itineraries for your trip to Flanders Fields!

Samuel Frickleton
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