New Zealand National Commemoration
The New Zealand National Commemoration for the Battle of Passchendaele will take place at 11 a.m. on 12 October 2017 at Tyne Cot Cemetery, near Zonnebeke.
All members of the public are asked to proceed through security screening and board shuttles to the Cemetery at Bellewaerde Parking C, Frezenbergstraat, Zonnebeke. There is strictly no parking at Tyne Cot cemetery. We advise arriving at Parking C no later than 9.30 a.m.
Following the National Commemoration, shuttles will return to Parking C via the Memorial Museum Passchendaele, Zonnebeke. The Museum is offering a barbeque for those attending the service; for more information and to register, please visit the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 website.
At 3pm, the New Zealand Passchendaele Centennial Memorial & Garden will be opened at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele. This event will feature elements of ceremony and music, and is open to the public.
The day will conclude with a sunset ceremony in Buttes New British Cemetery in Polygon Wood at 7.15 p.m. finishing at 8 p.m. The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing for those 388 New Zealanders who were killed in the vicinity of Polygon Wood between September 1917 and May 1918 and who have no known grave is located within this cemetery. The cemetery has 95 known New Zealand graves. There are, however, over 1600 unknown soldiers buried in this cemetery.
Buses will depart for the Sunset ceremony from Parking C, beginning at 5.45 p.m. (see map in 'Where do I park?' FAQ below).
Access to these commemorations is not balloted – they are open to anyone wishing to commemorate New Zealand’s military service during the First World War regardless of nationality.
From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth: Special Commemorative Event and Last Post Service
At 7 p.m. on 11 October a special commemorative event with a distinctly New Zealand flavour will be held in Ieper/Ypres. Along the ramparts next to the famous Menin Gate, a video and sound show telling the story of New Zealand’s participation in Passchendaele “from the uttermost ends of the earth” will be shown. As part of the event, a ceremonial waka taua will be paddled for the first time in Flanders’ fields, by a 14-strong crew. This will be followed by the traditional Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony, strongly featuring New Zealand elements including a performance by New Zealand music legend Dave Dobbyn.
We recommend the public arrive before 6.30 p.m. for the best view of the event, and prepare for security screening – please leave bulky items at home.