More WWI

Trip Start Mar 24, 2012
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Trip End Aug 25, 2012


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Flag of Belgium  , West Flanders,
Monday, May 14, 2012

As Ieper was one of the most fought over areas, there is a large concentration of memorials and cemeteries dotted throughout the countryside.

The numbers of men lost are too large to comprehend. As well as the 55,000 with no known graves at Menin Gate, there are a further 39,000 listed at Tyne Cot. I watched the school children wandering around the gravestones and although it was quite nice hearing their chirpy laughter, I wonder if the sea of white has any real meaning to them. How can you portray such loss and devastation when the flowers are blooming, the grass is green, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Quite rightly, these youngsters were happy and carefree.

After spending the whole day diving into history, it was nice to meet up with Guy for a lovely walk around the Ieper ramparts and chat with the fishermen and enjoy a glorious evening.
Guy is a local who has been a penfriend of my mate in Oz for over 10 years. They have never met but each have been promising the other to visit the respective countries... yeah one day.
Guy was a fount of all knowledge about the history and the current social situation in Belgium. We had a great long chat over dinner comparing customs and politics.
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Comments

Pete Gailey on

I must say Jax that reading your blog and watching picture after picture of the silent graves is very thought provoking. I just sense the ghosts of all of the young men lured to the battlefields with promises of patriotism and adventure just to be slaughtered as cannon fodder in the mud and soil of France and Belgium. What a senseless waste of a generation.

Guy on

wish you all the best and have a great tour on the rest of holidays, thanks to meet and talk and the friendship :-) Guy Menu

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