Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Passchendaele today

above is the monument you find at the top of hill 47.

above is a view of the famous mud of flanders. Its still sticky. That little village..thats Passchendaele. Compare to the picture of the bombed out birds eye view in the last post. They tell me that that little church is the one where John McCray penned his famous poem "In Flanders Fields". I didnt get into town, I figured I had imposed on my host enough...he drove us out there instead of going to supper. It was only a couple of miles from Ypres.

below is a shot from inside the Menin gate, back in Ypres. Every night at eight o clock, 365 days a year, the sound the "Last Post" and lay wreaths. In the background, above the people, you can see the marble plaques with all the names on them.

This is the modern, rebuilt Cloth Hall. It was in its day, the largest and most elaborate secular building in Europe. I wish I had the pictures from the previous post when I made would have been remarkable to compare then-and-now photos. However, the below picture is such that, if I were to have moved the camera fifty paces to the left, we would be looking down the road at the 1918 camera man. The only thing original , like, from before the war, is the part under the tower. The base of which you can see in the previous post. It is remarkable that so much was re-built. The British regard Ypres as a sort of super large scale monument to their fallen, and it was all British money that went into rebuilding Ypres. It looks much the same, but there are sewers, water, electricity, and so forth unlike before. All underground.

There is a museum, of course, devoted to the war inside that cloth hall. Next post I will put some pics from inside that museum.
Its kind of interesting. They have a sound system that from time to time, as you wander in amongst the recreation of the battle site, lets out a very loud ssssssssssssss-BANG, like a shell going off. I very nearly dived under the table! Made the heart pump though!

No comments: