Premiere Classe Lille Ouest - Lomme
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From beautiful Brugge we drove south west to Ypres. Along the way we stopped at some of the war memorials to the fallen soldiers. All this area is part of Flanders. We stopped at the Tyne Cot cemetery. It is the biggest commonwealth memorial. It was quite surreal looking at the walls knowing every name on the wall represents a soldier whose body was never found or identified.
Next we stopped at ...
... finally to visit a Commonwealth cemetery, which was immaculate.
Leaving Ypres, we headed to the south to a restored trench system known as "Bayernwald". After racing to the local village to get tickets before closing we entered the site, and had a wander inside them to get a feel for how soldiers had to spend their time, including seeing some of the dugouts where soldiers would have slept.
... second half of the workshop were probably less successful than in the first. The ten euros fee per person was split 50/50 between helping to meet the costs of the project (most of which was Belgian government funded) and a charity which works for children in wars and other man-made disasters - particularly Syria, Lebanon and Zimbabwe at the moment. At the end of the afternoon, we drove into Nieuwpoort and looked at the bridges and sluice gates near the mouth of the ...
... cemeteries are sombre, they are light and bright, with flowers and personal mementos, whereas the German cemeteries are bleak, and stark.
It has been quite an emotional journey over the past few days, but we're really happy we came and visited these sites.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields where poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, ...
The 3rd division lost 3199 men and the New Zealanders lost 2800 in one day,12 October 1917 - the costliest day in NZ military history.
The disermated ANZACS were replaced by the Canadians who finally took the town on 10 November, after four attacks which had commenced on 26 October.
We stopped at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, a cemetery that had commenced beside the largest of five concrete ...