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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

Railway Wood, Ypres

In Railway Wood itself, near the Royal Engineers Memorial, there were several large craters.

Shell Crater , Railway Wood, Ypres

Shell Crater, Railway Wood, Ypres

Shell Crater near Ypres

Shell Crater near Ypres

It was quite spooky walking round the shell shattered ground, the peacefulness contrasting with what it must have been like for the soldiers of both sides, some of whom must lie underneath all this.

Pinned to a tree we found this memorial note for Private John William Ogley:-

Memorial Note for Private John William  Ogley

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, Ypres

From the Menin Road we could see just on the ridge of a hill a Commonwealth War Graves Cross of Sacrifice. A signpost pointed up a very minor road to RE Memorial Railway Wood. We had to make the last bit on foot – past several Remembrance Trees. The line had shifted up a bit from the Menin Road by 1915.

It was now such a peaceful setting with cows grazing hard by the memorial:-

Royal Engineers Grave, Railway Wood, Ypres

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, Ypres:-

Royal Engineers Grave, Railway Wood, Ypres, From Access Road

Unless there are at least forty graves a Commonwealth War Cemetery will not have a Cross of Sacrifice. This memorial commemorates only twelve men but the graves are not individually marked, hence the cross.

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, Ypres, from Entrance:-

Royal Engineers Grave, Railway Wood, Ypres, From Entrance

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, Inscription 1, 177th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers:-

Royal Engineers Grave, Railway Wood, Inscription 1

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, Inscription 2, six names:-

Royal Engineers Grave, Railway Wood, Inscription 2

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, Inscription 3, a further six names:-

Royal Engineers Grave, Railway Wood, Inscription 3

View Towards Ypres from Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood:-

Royal Engineers Memorial, Railway Wood, View Towards Ypres

Crater, Railway Wood, Ypres, Royal Engineers Memorial in background:-

Crater, Railway Wood, Ypres

In Flanders Fields Museum Exhibits (iii)

Italian Field Gun beside horse ambulance in In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres:-

Italian Field Gun

Machine Gun:-

Machine Gun

Stokes Mortar:-

Stokes Mortar

Trench Mortars:-

Trench Mortars

At the exit there was a list of wars since 1918 – so many I had to take three photographs.

(1):-

List of Wars Since 1918 (1)

(2):-

List of Wars Since 1918 (2)

(3):-

List of Wars Since 1918 (3)

In Flanders Fields Museum Exhibits (ii) Headstones

I didn’t photograph the British headstone as I have posted many of those before.

Belgian Headstone:-

Belgian Headstone, In Flanders Fields Museum

German Grave Marker + French Cross:-

Great War German Headstone + French Cross

German Headstone. Unusual. The German grave markers are usually laid flat. French Cross behind:-

Great War German headstone

Muslim Headstone:-

Muslim Headstone

Unattributed Headstone plus various commemorative statuary:-

Unattributed Headstone

In Flanders Fields Museum Exhibits (i)

Exhibits in In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres (Ieper) Belgium.

Anti-tank rifle:-

Anti-tank Rifle, In Flanders Fields Museum

Photograph of survivors of a Canadian battle of the Great War:-

Canadians, In Flanders Fields Museum

Flame Thrower (Flammenwerfer):-

Flame Thrower, In Flanders Fields Museum

(The next one was too far behind its glass for the camera to focus properly.) Fritz Haber was responsible for developing Chlorine gas as a weapon. Also without his Haber Process to make ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen (necessary for producing artificial fertiliser) the Germans would have been unable to make nitrate explosives and so would have been forced to an armistice much earlier. The main exhibit was of an actor speaking Haber’s words:-

Fritz Haber Exhibit

Tableau of Horse Ambulance:-

Tableau of Horse Ambulance

The Wipers Times was a satirical magazine produced by soldiers during the Great War:-

Copy of Wipers Times

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