Sunday, November 11, 2018

100 Years Anniversary of WWI Ending - a battlefield visit.

Last month I achieve one of my bucket list goals. I visited Flander's Fields in Belgium on a battlefield tour.
Those of you who know my books, know that I have a deep interest in World War One and have written in that era on three occasions (The Promise of Tomorrow, Southern Sons and Where Dragonflies Hover)

I have researched the era a great deal and to visit actual battlefield sites was an amazing experience I'll remember forever.
I'm sharing with you some photos of the day, not all as there are too many, but enough to give you a feel of what I saw.

 This is just some of the shells and hand grenades still collected on farmer's fields in and around Passchendaele and Ypres.
Live shells are still being found and our tour guide told us that only the month before a farmer had been ploughing his field and was blown up by an unexploded shell. 100 years later!! It's so hard to believe isn't it? We saw this shell just by the side of the road. Farmers put them out for the army to collect every Friday and dispose of them. 


The photo of the trench is from the Passchendaele Museum. It is a great museum to visit and learn even more about the battle sin that area. Walking through the trenches give you a feel of what the men must have gone through. Though the day we went the weather was lovely, but I could imagine the trenches in the wet and cold and the mud of winter.


 The serene looking little lake is actually a bomb crater on the outskirts of Ypres. The site has not been touched and allowed to fill with water. It's very beautiful to look at but the grim story is men fought and died in this spot and it's a sobering thought that we were walking on ground churned up by heavy gunfire and bombs and at one time dead bodies of brave men.


 The cemeteries we visited were numerous in the area, naturally, as it was a hot bed of fighting for over 4 years. As an Australian it was very touching to see the Australian War memorials and graves, but as someone who has British ancestors who fought and died in battles it was doubling moving. Knowing that an ancestor of mine (Ellis) sent five sons to war and only three came back.
To my great+ uncles Arthur and Alfred Ellis and all the brave men and women who fought and died for our freedom, we owe you a debt that can never be repaid.



Lest We Forget



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