A visitor stands in front of the 16th Irish Division Memorial during the Battle of Messines Ridge commemorations at the military cemetery in Wijtschate, Belgium, on June 7th, 2017. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/AFP/Getty Images

The battle of Wijtschate-Messines in the first World War in June 1917 was the first act in what became known as the third battle of Ypres, a crucial p(...)

Detail of British sappers digging a communications trench to Messines Ridge. Photograph: Getty

Before any British offensive from the Ypres salient in 1917 could begin, the Wijtschate-Messines ridge at the southern end of the salient had to be ta(...)