Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In Flanders Fields

En route to Calais, we stopped in Ypres to make good on our vow last year to see the In Flanders Fields museum at the Cloth Market.
Another canal-side camper-stop (improvised)

The Cloth Market; rebuilt in the 1920s and re-opened in 1932; the
original, centuries old, and one of Europe's very greatest buildings,
was destroyed by the Germans quite early in the war; In Flanders
Fields is in the Cloth Market

Last good days, 1913

Depicting the first battle of Ypres (there were several)

Most of the death and carnage was caused by artillery

And machine guns

The Germans initiated the use of gas warfare at Ypres in 1915

The countryside is dotted with beautiful little ponds like this;
enormous craters resulting from underground warfare...dig under
the enemy's lines, set a charge, blow him up; one was so large
its detonation was heard in London

Ypres...early in the war

A Canadian enlisted man's kit


American...Ypres was contested throughout the
war, as armies advanced and retreated over the
same ground for 4 years; the Americans didn't
arrive until 1918, but some of the worst of the
fighting remained

French (somehow I missed the British)

Ypres by 1916 was a wasteland

After the war, temporary housing; Churchill had proposed leaving
Ypres as it was as a memorial to the hundreds of thousands who
died in its precincts; the Belgians refused this and rebuilt


One exhibit simply names and identifies all who were killed

A sad long list of all the wars since "the war to end all wars"

McCrae's famous poem

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