Plates from Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres)

plates (Images by Urban Ghosts)

I wasn’t expecting to discover battle-hardened antiques lying around my parents’ kitchen. But finally this Christmas, after never before sparing them a second thought, something prompted me to ask about the curious old oven plates that they’ve used to keep food warm over the years. The story is more interesting than I’d expected – they belonged to my great grandfather (Thomas Hillman, who we’ve mentioned before on this blog) and were issued to him during the First World War. In fact, the plates were with him at Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres.

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When Thomas Hillman returned from the Western Front to Morecambe, Lancashire, in 1918, the plates found their way into the family kitchen and for years were used to bake apple pies. The convenient, ultra-lightweight articles have since made their way down the family line and aid in the preparation of the Sunday roast practically every weekend.

If you enjoyed this article, don’t miss the Heroic Tale of Timothy the Tortoise – Crimean Hero and the Last Veteran of Sevastopol (died 2004).



  • HMSCindy

    You should show them holding food to prove they still work.