Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Retreating, Part I

Well, I made it! :)

Left last Sunday and took the ferry from Dover to Dunkerque, then drove to Ypres.

Co-pilot Percy Rabbit.

Queuing at Dover ferry.

Aaah. When advertising said what it meant.

Anchors away...


Passing through Dover harbour wall with the white
cliffs in the background.
Waiting for the ramps to open onto France.

Stayed in a lovely hotel called the Regina, right in the central square overlooking the Cloth Tower. I’d booked in for two nights to get over the drive.

The Regina is full of quirky art. Here's the
Last Post on the hall wall.

Ypres Cloth Hall, reconstructed after the town was
reduced to mud during the Second World War.

Cloth Hall and mini Cloth Hall.

On the Monday, I went for a walk, then drove to the Town Cemetery Extension to find Great Granddad Tom, who stayed on with the War Graves Commission after being injured in the First World War. He helped found Poelkapelle Cemetery, but eventually died from the conditions aged just forty-one.

In 2005 we re-interred him from the town cemetery to the adjoining military cemetery (or ‘extension’) at the request of the council. This was the first time that I’d been back since then. A bit sad as my nana (his daughter), who was with us last time, has since passed away.

Ypres Town Cemetery.

Looking out across the military extension.

In good company.

Great Grandda's grave.

I rounded off the night with Last Post beneath the Menin Gate, then dinner from the chip shop and a bubble bath.

War memorabilia shop in Ypres.

The Menin Gate.

People gathered beneath the gate as they do
every night of the year to observe the Last Post.

Names inscribed on the gate.

Tributes left.

You can join the Last Post Association online.

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