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Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Peterhead

On Kirk Street, Peterhead.

A hexagonal column surmounted by pillars, with a pyramidal apex.

From north. Inscribed with the Gordon Highlanders Insignia and the names Festubert and Vimy Ridge. Great War Roll of Honour behind.

Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Peterhead

From west. Inscribed Somme, Beaumont-Hamel, Arras, Ypres, Cambrai:-

Peterhead, Gordon Highlanders Memorial

From east. Inscribed St Quentin, Merville, Scarpe, Soissons, Chievres:-

Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Peterhead from East

5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders Great War Roll of Honour, by side of Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Kirk Street, Peterhead:-

5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders Great War Roll of Honour, Peterhead

Yorkshire Memorial, Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres, Flanders

Yorkshire Memorial from Essex Farm Cemetery. The memorial overlooks the Ypres-Yser canal:-

Yorkshire Memorial, Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Closer View. Inscription reads “XLIX West Riding Division 1915 1918.”

Yorkshire Memorial Essex Farm Cemetery Closer View

Dedication, “To the memory of all ranks of the 49th West Riding Division who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War 1914 1918.”

Dedication,Yorkshire Memorial, Essex Farm Cemetery

1915, 1916 and 1917 Battle Honours:-

Yorkshire Memorial, Essex Farm Cemetery, 1915, 1916 and 1917 Battle Honours

1917 1918 Battle Honours:-

Yorkshire Memorial, Essex Farm Cemetery 1917 1918 Battle Honours

Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres (Ieper,) Flanders

Essex Farm Cemetery is located on the banks of the Ypres-Yser canal by the site of the Advanced Dressing Station where Lt Col John McCrae was serving as a medical officer when he wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Fields.” I have blogged about him previously in connection with the McCrae Memorial at Eilean Donan Castle in Lochalsh, Scotland.

The cemetery contains more than 1,000 graves. Unusually for a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery its Cross of Sacrifice is located right at the entrance:-

Essex Farm Cemetery Ypres, Cross of Sacrifice

Graves from northwest:-

Graves at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

From southeast. Note Yorkshire Memorial on the canal bank:-

More Graves at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

From northeast:-

Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres, Graves

From south. Again note Yorkshire Memorial (which I shall come back to):-

Graves at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Graves from Yorkshire Memorial:-

View of Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Graves from north, Yorkshire Memorial to left:-

Graves at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

A tree trunk has grown round the gravestone of Private J MacPherson, Seaforth Highlanders, who died on 5/7/1917, aged 33:-

Commonwealth War Grave, Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Symbolic of the fact they fought and died over the same ground the cemetery holds a German grave, Franz Heger, RIR, 238, 7/8/1916:-

German Grave, Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Grave of Rifleman V J Strudwick, The Rifle Brigade, 14/1/1916, aged 15, said to be the youngest British Empire casualty of the Great War. (There may be some doubt about this.) It is nevertheless a focus for remembrance:-

Youngest Casualty, Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

John McCrae Commemoration stone. Written in four languages, French, Flemish, English and German, with the poem itself also inscribed on the memorial along with a facsimile of the handwritten manuscript:-

John McCrae Commemoration, Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

The bunkers at Essex Farm Cemetery where John McCrae worked as a medic:-

Bunkers at  Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Bunker interior:-

Interior of Bunker at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Another bunker interior:-

Another Bunker at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Bunkers, looking back up to Essex Farm Cemetery grounds:-

Bunkers at Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Information board with a photograph of how the bunkers appeared during the war:-

Information Board Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres

Lest We Forget:-

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Menin Gate Again

On our trip to Belgium and the Netherlands last year we again visited Ypres and I took more photos of the Menin Gate.

Menin Gate from west, bathed in early evening sunlight:-

Menin Gate from West

Menin Gate from Ypres ramparts:-

Menin Gate from ramparts

Menin Gate from street:-

Menin Gate from street

Moat from Menin Gate:-

Moat from Menin Gate, Ypres

Relief Map of Ypres, situated right by the Menin Gate, on the west side:-

Relief Map of Ypres

On approaching the Menin gate from the Menin Road I noticed two statues that had not been there the year before. It turned out these had originally been at the Gate but had been presented in 1936 to the Australian War Memorial in memory of the thousands of Australians who passed through the Gate during the Great War. They had been temporarily returned in April 2017 (till November 2017) to their original location.

Lion Statues at Menin Gate

Close up on one of the lions:-

Menin Gate Lion

Menin Gate Lions information board in four languages:-

Menin Gate Lions Information Board

The information in English:-

Menin Gate Lions Information

Some corner of a foreign field…. Wieltje Farm Cemetery

Wieltje Farm Cemetery is close to Ypres (Ieper,) Flanders, Belgium, just off the N313 road. The access is up a grassed path between two houses into a field growing crops. The path continues round the edge of the field until it is at a right angle to the cemetery to which it then leads.

115 Commonwealth servicemen of the Great War are buried here along with one German.

Wietje Farm Cemetery From Access Path

Wietje Farm Cemetery, Flanders, Belgium

Graves and Cross of Sacrifice:-

Wietje Farm Cemetery, Graves

The German grave; Unteroffizier O Hoffmeister, R Inf R, 22/9/1917. This lies off to the left of the previous photo:-

Wietje Farm Cemetery, German Grave

Poelcapelle War Cemetery, Flanders, Belgium

Poelcapelle is today spelled Poelkapelle. The village is a few miles north-east of Ypres (Ieper.) The British War Cemetery (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) is by the N313 road from Bruges (Brugge) to Ypres.

Poelcapelle War Cemetery,  Belgium

I’ve been to Tyne Cot but nevertheless still gasped when I entered Poelcapelle Cemetery. There are nearly 7,500 burials here, the vast majority, 6,230, of which are “Known unto God”.

View of interior from entrance:-

Interior of Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Graves:-

Graves, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Some of the unidentified soldiers of the Great War:-

War Graves, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Lines of graves:-

Lines of Graves, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance:-

Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Memorial to some of those whose earlier graves were destroyed in later battles:-

Memorial Stone, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

As usual the graves are beautifully kept. A Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God and Private F J Patten, Hampshire Regiment, 4/10/17, aged 21:-

Planting, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Two Soldiers of the Great War:-

More Planting, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

There is one World War 2 grave at Poelcapelle. Private R E Mills, Royal Berkshire Regiment, 30/5/1940, aged 19:

WW 2 Grave, Poelcapelle War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance:-

Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance Closer View

Naarden

On our way back from Ypres to the north of The Netherlands we stopped off at the small town of Naarden.

It’s a stunning place, built as a fortress surrounded by fortifications which stick out into a canal acting as a moat giving the whole the appearance of a many pointed star – and apparently only the one road in or out crossing the moat/canal.

Naarden

It has typical Dutch streets. The day we visited was a national holiday by the time we got there it was late afternoon so it wasn’t very busy.

Naarden 1

Right by the church was this statue of the man known as the father of modern education, Jan Comenius, who is buried in Naarden:-

Statue of Jan Comenius, Naarden, Netherlands

Here’s a flavour of the fortification earthworks and surrounding canal/moat:-

Naarden Fortifications Stitch

Naarden Fortifications 6

Naarden Fortifications 5

Naarden Fortifications 4

Some of the houses had an Art Deco feel, especially in the stained glass, but which may have been just Dutch:-

Naarden Stained Glass Window

Naarden Stained Glass Window

Naarden Stained Glass

There was more than a hint of deco about this doorway canopy and fanlights in “rule of three”:-

Naarden Art Deco Style

I think this may have been the old gateway to the town:-

Naarden 14

A delightful wee place, but it’s not as unique as you might think. There is another such canal/moat surrounded Dutch town. Its near the German border and called Bourtange; but we didn’t get to there.

Hooge Crater Museum (iii)

German Great War memorabilia in Hooge Crater Museum. In my own Great War collection I have a mug similar to one shown here:-

Hooge Crater Museum 13

Trench Art including inkwells in the shape of Renault tanks:-

Hooge Crater Museum 14

British Great War memorabilia (above) and German (below.) Again I have some of the featured British items in my own collection:-

Hooge Crater Museum 15

More trench art, Renault tank inkwells with poilus’ helmets:-

Hooge Crater Museum 16

Trench art cabinet:-

Hooge Crater Museum 17

More trench art:-

Hooge Crater Museum 18

Mock-up of British dugout:-

Hooge Crater Museum 19

If you are ever in Ypres/Ieper I would recommend a visit to Hooge Crater Museum as well as to In Flanders Fields Museum.

Zonnebeeke War Memorial

Zonnebeeke is in Flanders, Belgium, just west-north-west of Ypres. We passed through it on the way to Tyne Cot and Langemark War Cemeteries.

I had stopped to photgraph a distinctive building in the town (more of which later) and this War Memorial was on the same crossroads.

I could only see the date 1940 on it but Belgian soldiers from Zonnebeeke certainly died in the Great War.

Zonnebeke War Memorial

Liverpool Scottish Memorial, Railway Wood, Ypres

The Liverpool Scottish were raised in Liverpool from Scottish stock and wore kilts. They made an attack at Hooge (Bellewaarde) in June 1915 by Railway Wood.

There is a memorial at the edge of Railway Wood.

Liverpool Scottish Memorial near Ypres

Liverpool Scottish Memorial, Railway Wood, Ypres

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