Paying my respects at the World War I Memorials and the Last Post–testaments to the horrors and insanity of war…
First World War History
Five memorials in and around Ypres are particularly worthy of your time in order to learn some history and to pay one’s respects: Tyne Cot, Saint Julien Memorial, Essex Farm, Langemark Cemetery, and Menin Gate.
Saint Julien Memorial
Even to this day the countryside remains a mine field with uncountable hidden hazards. The unearthing of unexploded ordnance is still a common occurrence and farmers routinely leave their discoveries by the signposts to be picked up for eventual dismantlement.
Note: Two construction workers were killed the very next day after my visit. (See Reuters Article)
Tyne Cot Cemetery
The final resting place for just a fraction of the more than one-million British Commonwealth troops killed in the Great War. Take the time and care to read the gravestone inscriptions of countless mates and comrades of every persuasion and notice the staggering number of unidentified fallen soldiers.
Essex Farm Cemetery
The final resting place of over forty-four thousand German soldiers and three thousand German student “volunteers”, a stark reminder that there were victims on both sides.
Menin Gate War Memorial and the “Last Post“.
More than a century later, those who call Ypres and Flanders home have not forgotten the enormous sacrifice of so many British Commonwealth troops (from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and India) during the Great War.
Wow. Amazing stuff there, Frank. Well done.
Thanks for checking in, Bill. It’s always nice to hear from you.
Good to hear from you too, Frank.