Sept. 15, 1944 – a return to Ypres and the First World War

Ypres in ruins.  Rob Alexander collection

Ypres in ruins.
Rob Alexander collection

Sept. 15 — Took Jeep – a Belgium guide, two ambulances and a truck through Ypres and the Menin Gate up the long hill to Passchendaele Village where a fair was in progress. In the next little village I took over thirty seven wounded Germans and staff and sent them back to Dixmude. They were in a Convent, and when we took them over I seized a lovely German pistol. The Coth Hall and Menin Gate were very familiar, but I would not recognize Passchendaele at all. The Towns are fully built up — the country is filled with cemeteries — German, British and Canadian, with war memorials everywhere. We passed old familiar spots like Langemark, Zounebek, Zillebeke, Palcapoele, St. Julien, Kemmel Hill and La Clyte. Old Hill Corner our of La Clyte was familiar, but not the rest.

The Cloth Hall in the city of Ypres (Ieper) following the German bombardment during the Second Battle of Ypres, 1915.  Rob Alexander collection.

The Cloth Hall in the city of Ypres (Ieper) following the German bombardment during the Second Battle of Ypres, 1915.
Rob Alexander collection.

The Menin Gate and the Cloth Hall today. Once a cloth market and warehouse completed 1304, it was largely destroyed. The reconstructed Cloth Hall houses the Flanders Fields Museum. The Menin Gate, meanwhile, is a British and Commonwealth war memorial where the Last Post is played every evening. Rob Alexander photo.

The Menin Gate and the Cloth Hall today. Once a cloth market and warehouse completed 1304, it was largely destroyed. The reconstructed Cloth Hall houses the Flanders Fields Museum. The Menin Gate, meanwhile, is a British and Commonwealth war memorial where the Last Post is played every evening. Rob Alexander photo.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: