A few years back now, I showed you a couple of pieces of artwork by Lieutenant Hugh Mossom Boyd of the Royal Engineers that I was kindly allowed to scan and publish, and I thought you might like to see another unpublished piece he painted whilst serving in Flanders in the summer of 1917.
The date, 7th June 1917, is the opening day of the Battle of Messines, and the time, approximately 3.30 am, some twenty minutes after the detonation of the nineteen mines that heralded the start of the battle. Note the surrendering Germans and the British tank, and the smoke enshrouded Messines Ridge in the background, the still smouldering St. Eloi mine crater in the centre.
My Grandfather John Stannan Luff died here on that day and is buried in the Toronto Avenue Cemetery. Those mines going off must have been frightening.
Yes, I remember you mentioned about your Grandfather some time ago. Glad you’re still tuning in Roland. And yes, absolutely terrifying, I should imagine.