In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Wreaths of artificial poppies used as a symbol...

Wreaths of artificial poppies used as a symbol of remembrance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

-J. McCrae, 1915

In honor of Remembrance Day, in the UK, Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth countries, and Veteran’s Day in the U.S., for those who served and died in World War I.

In Bath, talking to a British army soldier who does WWI reenactments for schools and memorials.

When I was in England a year ago, I was in Bath on Remembrance Day.  At a memorial presentation, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was a former British Army solider. We talked about the significance of World War I to Great Britain, as compared to World War II, and he explained to me the devastation that the war caused to the psyche of the country. He told me that his grandfather died at Ypres and was never recovered, and that about half a million Commonwealth soldiers have never been found. He works with a group that continues to hunt for remains, and reported that he has found three sets of remains, himself, over the years. My paternal grandfather was a WWI vet, which I’ve written about here.

Categories: History

4 replies

  1. My grandfather fought in the Australian Army at Gallipoli, the Middle East and later in Europe. I visited Flanders a few years back, and was very moved by it. I particularly enjoyed visiting Ypres, where they still do a last post bugle call every night. There is an old archway as you enter the old town of Ypres that has a single lion guarding the archway – its pair is in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, having been gifted to Australia by the people of Ypres for the valiant efforts of Australian troops in protecting the town.
    Lest we forget…….


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