100 Years Ago at Messines, Belgium June 1917
On the night of 9th June 1917, the 5th Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment took over the forward trenches at Torreken Farm just north of the wrecked village of Messines on the night of 9th June 1917.
They faced enemy artillery which was located on the Messines Ridge overlooking the area and as a result had heavy casualties – men killed and wounded – every day. They remained in these positions for 10 days until relived by an Irish regiment on the 19th June.
This is a link to the a You Tube clip which tells the hideous, courageous, unbelievable but successful story of the battle at the Messines Ridge. It is told from the perspective of the Irish regiments but gives a clear picture of what life would have been like for Thomas in the June of 1917.
These two links tell Thomas Johnstone’s story:
Thomas Johnstone Goes To War
Letters to Sarah Johnstone