Last year I was proud to log the Belgian Amateur Radio Station ON4PTC, which was remembering the World War I Battle of Passchendaele, which had it’s 100th Anniversary this year. The callsign suffix PTC stands for Passchendaele and the Tyne Cot cemetery, where almost 12,000 British Commonwealth (and 1 French) dead from the battle are buried. Appropriately enough, I logged them on the weekend following the day World War I ended (11 November 1918) – Armistice Day, now Veterans Day (the battle also ended on 10 November 1917). Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, last for just over three months was a horrific battle remembered for its muddy conditions and the number of casualties it created – somewhere between (depending on estimates) 400,000 and 850,000.
World War I lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 2018; centenary commemorations like this will continue through next year. It’s a good way for amateur radio operators to help commemorate the war, remember its fallen, and try to prevent the reoccurrence of such a conflagration.