Sunday, 19 July 2015

In Flanders Fields


Ypres has a recently established museum, 'In Flanders Fields', housed within the town's reconstructed Cloth Hall. It explores the history of the Ypres Salient through artefacts, personal stories, photographs, audio-visual presentations and interactive screens. There is no glorification of war. One comes away convinced of its futility and uncomfortably aware that the terrified columns of civilians fleeing conflict have merely shifted to other countries and continents...

I found the strange beauty of the rusty and battered bullet cases, collected from the killing fields around Ypres, incredibly moving.

Memory, let all slip save what is sweet
Of Ypres plains.
Keep only autumn sunlight and the fleet
Clouds after rains.
Blue sky and mellow distance softly blue;
These only hold
Lest I my panged grave shall share with you.
Else dead. Else cold.

Ivor Gurney, October 1917.

8 comments:

  1. I only know the town of Ypres I was there long time ago ! There were no tourists at all, these visits on WWs traces weren't known yet ! Now it has become a tourist attraction for the city !

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  2. That is an amazing way to arrange bullet cases.

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  3. Interesting way of using the bullet cases...

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  4. Fascinating picture. I never would have guessed those were bullet cases until I read your post.

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  5. Bullet cases! That is quite an eye-catching display and your image caught it perfectly.

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  6. Wow...so touching. The photo is interesting...love the pattern and patina...a nice display!

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  7. Wonderful picture and such a moving poem!!

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