On Remembrance Sunday I laid a poppy wreath at the local War Memorial, on behalf of the Community Council.
Today is of course Armistice Day. It’s the 102nd anniversary of the end of the Great War at 11 am.
Today’s post is a guest one from A Son of the Rock (Jack).
Poelcapelle is today spelled Poelkapelle. The village is a few miles north-east of Ypres (Ieper.) The British War Cemetery (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) is by the N313 road from Bruges (Brugge) to Ypres.
I’ve been to Tyne Cot but nevertheless still gasped when I entered Poelcapelle Cemetery. There are nearly 7,500 burials here, the vast majority, 6,230, of which are “Known unto God”.
View of interior from entrance:-
Some of the unidentified soldiers of the Great War:-
Lines of graves:-
Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance:-
Memorial to some of those whose earlier graves were destroyed in later battles:-
As usual the graves are beautifully kept. A Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God and Private F J Patten, Hampshire Regiment, 4/10/17, aged 21:-
Two Soldiers of the Great War:-
There is one World War 2 grave at Poelcapelle. Private R E Mills, Royal Berkshire Regiment, 30/5/1940, aged 19:
Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance:-
Enduring Eye – is an exhibition at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. It’s about Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition and has been on since June but closes in a couple of weeks, we just got around to visiting it a couple of days ago. If you’re near Edinburgh and you’re interested in explorers and the Antarctic then you might find it interesting.
The photographs are amazingly clear and there’s even some film footage of Endurance breaking up as she was crushed by the ice. The expedition was from 1914 to 1917 and of course when they did get back from being marooned on Elephant Island for months the men had a lot of news to catch up with, World War 1 had barely started when they left Blighty.
There are some artifacts on display too, but it’s really the photographs that are most interesting. You can see more photos here, mainly of the inside of the ship, showing what it was like for the men.
The small island of Hoy is a fairly short ferry trip from the Orkney mainland. The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre is well worth the trip. The area was very busy during both World Wars as it’s so strategically placed it’s a perfect place to position a large part of the British Navy, meaning the population exploded with the arrival of loads of sailors and soldiers and airmen too.
This inevitably led to a change in the opportunities of the local females who up until then didn’t have much to choose from when it came to getting married. When the navy finally weighed anchors and sailed off permanently the local females’ horizons must have closed in on them again. To compensate for this disappointment it seems that they were encouraged to take up pig farming instead of getting married. No difference some might say! I liked the cartoon below which appeared in a local newspaper at the time.
It’s really quite a good museum with exhibits inside and outside, although I’m not too interested in military hardware.
I was happier with the more domestic parts such as this mock up of a typical 1930s interior, although I feel that they could be doing with a nice 1930s three piece suite, if I had known that I would have donated one to them before we moved, as I ended up giving it to a local college to practice their upholstery skills on.
You can have a look at an air raid shelter, there must have been more of them scattered around but possibly they’ve all been filled in again.
There’s also a tearoom, done out to look like it would have in the 1930s, but it was full of people partaking of the cup that cheers – as usual, so I didn’t take any photos of it. They had tasty cakes though.
Hoy is well worth a visit. I’m only annoyed that we didn’t realise that the ferry is such a small one with not much room for vehicles, so you have to book ahead, we were too late to book so we just went as foot passengers, so could only explore by foot. Next time we’ll take the car and travel across as much of Hoy as we can as there’s obviously a lot more to see than we managed, going from these images.
We were just driving along a very skinny road when we noticed a signpost saying Kitchener Memorial at Marwick Head, Orkney. Obviously we knew that Kitchener had drowned not long after the beginning of World War 1 when the ship he was on, HMS Hampshire, hit a German mine, but we had no idea it happened just off Marwick Head. This massive tower was built in his memory.
A view of the Kitchener Memorial at Marwick Head, Orkney.
Marwick Head is absolutely awash with rabbits as you can see, they aren’t at all bothered by humans it seems.
It’s a long way down and it was windy so I wasn’t going to go too close to the edge, some people are thrill seekers though.
It’s a beautiful area and there’s a lovely cliff path if you fancy a long walk. If you click on the photos you can zoom in to enlarge them.
If you are looking for more travel information about Orkney you might want to visit My Voyage Scotland here.
We stayed at the hotel in Ypres for a couple of nights and during the day we mainly travelled around visiting World War 1 cemeteries. This one is Perth Cemetery near Ypres (Ieper) so called because most of the soldiers around this area came from Perth in Scotland.
They’re well looked after by the War Graves Commission and most of the time the smaller ones are very peaceful places, they’re mainly surrounded by farmland.
In this one we disturbed a beautiful hare who was sunning himself amongst the flowers, far too fast to photograph of course, but I had to admire the choice of place to relax as the plants were particularly lovely here.
As you can see these cemeteries are very much part of the scenery with roads and people’s houses right next to them.