Yesterday I posted a photo of my cousin (first, thrice removed), Peter Michael Gaffaney. I’ve shown the image before, in a post commemorating ANZAC Day – Australia and New Zealand’s “Remembrance Day”, on April 25th.
In that previous post, I gave some of the information I had gleaned from Peter’s service record. However, the details of his time fighting on the Western Front during the Great War are merely a collection of dates and places and not much else, and I’ve often wondered about what happened out there, what battles he was involved in, what it was actually like for him and his comrades in the NZ Rifle Brigade. I’ll never come close to really understanding, but a glimpse would be a start.
So, when a trip to visit friends in Belgium at Easter was in the offing, I decided to organise a little detour. We’re planning to stop for one night in Ieper/Ypres, and will hopefully get time to visit both the Memorial Museum Passeschendaele 1917 and In Flanders Field Museum, and attend the Last Post at Menin Gate. I won’t get to see everything that I’d like on this fleeting visit, but I guess that’ll give me a good excuse to go back!