Sunday, October 24, 2010

oooppppsss I forgot all about Ypres

World War I was to be the war that ended all wars.

Just before World War I Australia had a population of nearly 4.5 million. During World War I over 421,809 Australians served in the military, so nearly one tenth of the population. Over 60,000 Australians lost their lives and 137,000 were wounded. The majority of these died in Europe, which is nearly 17,000kms from Australia, even though we also fought in the Middle East and Africa during the war.

I have previously been to Australia's other "War Mecca", Gallipoli in Turkey. So as we were in Belgium on holiday, I thought it would be good to see the site which effected and cost Australia quite largely nearly a hundred years ago.
We decided to visit the Tyne Cot Cemetary. Which is in the middle of the "Western Front".
I liked this one as they were from Sherwood Forest, made me wonder about the Robin Hoods of the day who would be very resourceful in their needs.
They have a memorial register, so that you can look for those in your family or friends that served and lost their life in the region. As you can see there are only a few of my family there.
Scarily enough one of them is a G Masters!
The Cemetery is very well kept by the Belgians and through money from the UK, I believe. It is certainly a fitting tribute to boys, and they were mostly boys, who fought and died here.
We were lucky there were some war verterans visiting from Canada, of course not WWI vets.
It just gave a realistic feeling to the environment
We were lucky that while there a Scottish piper came and played a solemn tune.

You can see a video of it at the bottom. I hope so anyway....

Sometimes I think cemetaries look best in black and white
Especially in the weather like this with bright sunshine and white headstones.
It almost looks like a people lining up for a pilgramage which I guess to an extent is true.
The sun will always rise
But the sun will never set on the memories of these brave men.

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