On this day: Australians at War

In a photograph dated the 29th of October, 1917, Australian soldiers are seen on the move in Belgium during the Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres).

Australia fought alongside Britain and troops from other parts of the British Empire, France and Belgium against the German Empire in a battle that lasted from the end of July until mid-November.

The image’s original information reads as follows:

Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917. The leading soldier is Gunner James Fulton and the second soldier is Lieutenant Anthony Devine. The men belong to a battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917

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100 Years Ago

This photo was taken #OnThisDay 1917 during the Broodseinde and Passchendaele operations #myawm #history The entrance to the General Staff Office at the Headquarters of the 3rd Australia

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Soldiers of the 3rd Australian Division at the entrance to the General Staff Office on the 21st of October, 1917. This was during fighting at Ypres, Belgium in the First World War.

On this day: British troops in 1916

The British Army on the Western Front, 1914-1918: Gunners of the Royal Garrison Artillery outside a bomb-proof dug-out at Reninghelst (Reningelst), Belgium. 15th June 1916.

The_British_Army_on_the_Western_Front,_1914-1918_Q698 The British Army on the Western Front, 1914-1918 Gunners of the Royal Garrison Artillery outside a bomb-proof dug-out at Reninghelst

On this day: the plane crash that killed an entire sporting team

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Found in the wreckage X

On the 15th of February, 1961 the plane transporting the entire US figure skating team to the World Championships crashed in Belgium, killing everyone on board.

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Two days earlier, national ladies’ champion Laurence Owen, aged sixteen, had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. There is a common myth that appearing on the cover of the magazine curses athletes, as she is not the only person to have something terrible happen soon afterwards.

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The Owen family. X

Owen’s sister Maribel, also a member of the team, and her mother, a coach and former champion herself, were also on the flight.

In addition to the seventy-two people on the plane, a farmer was also killed by flying debris.

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The team boards the plane the day before the crash. X

Once news of the crash got out, the Championships, scheduled to be held in Prague, were cancelled to honour the victims.

On this day…

“A” Company of Britain’s 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers rests in Mons, Belgium on the 22nd of August, 1914.

The following day they would fight in the Battle of Mons.

800px-4th_Bn_Royal_Fusiliers_22_August_1914 A Company of the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (9th Brigade, 3rd Division) on 22 August, 1914, resting in the square at Mons, Belgium, the day before the Battle of Mons.

On this day: the 1920 Olympics

Antwerp_1920_bannerThe 1916 Olympic Games were scheduled to be held in Berlin but were cancelled due to World War I. The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honour the suffering that had been inflicted during the war.

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The 1920 Summer Olympics opened in Antwerp, Belgium on the 14th of August.

1920_olympics_posterPoster of the 1920 Olympic Games. Printed in 90 000 copies in 17 languages plus French-Flamish bilingual versions.

The Games, which were to have been held in Germany in 1916 but were cancelled due to World War One, were awarded to the city in honour of the suffering inflicted on the Belgian people during the war.