The Western Front Today - 19th Western Division Memorial

The 19th (Western) Division memorial - the 'Butterfly' division, a name derived from the divisional emblem - is located nearby Wytschaete.  It commemorates perhaps the division's greatest achievement of the First World War.

With the opening of the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 the 19th Division was among the first to advance in the wake of the explosion of 19 mines which signified the start of the attack at 3.10am.  The memorial is sited at the crossroads which the division successfully reached within five hours of the start of the attack, which included the taking of the village of Oosttaverne nearby.

During the attack 19th Division lost 51 officers and some 1,358 other ranks.  In their turn they captured 1,253 German prisoners.

The same site saw further action by 19th Division in April 1918 during the Battle of Lys.

Before Endeavours Fade, Rose E.B. Coombs, After the Battle 1994
Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide - Ypres Salient, Leo Cooper 2000

An 'Old Sweat' was slang to denote an experienced soldier.

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