Tyne Cot

We’re back in northern France today for #treesquare.

Just over 50 kms from Brugge (Bruges) and 40kms from Lille sits an area of farmland. There are Cyprus trees and blossom trees, and at this time of the day (late afternoon), the birdsong is glorious.

This is Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing. A big title, yes, but a fitting one for the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world – in any war.

The area around Ypres and Passendale (or Passchendaele) stood smack bang in the middle of Germany’s planned sweep through the rest of Belgium and into France in WW1. As such, it was considered strategically important by both German and Allied Forces. From late in 1914 (the first battle of Ypres) both sides dug in for the duration.

Tyne Cot is the resting place of almost 12,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died in the fighting around Ypres (Ieper) between 1914 – 1918. Over 8,300 of these are unidentified, their graves marked with the inscription “A soldier of the Great War…known unto God.”

A memorial wall lists the names of a further almost 35,000 servicemen of the UK and New Zealand who died between August 1917 and November 1918 and who have no known grave.

Standing here 100 years later in April 2018 it’s hard to fathom the vast difference between the area as it is now – green, leafy and full of birdsong – to the chaos, filth and noise these men must have died in. It is, however, a fitting and respectful memorial – and one that you can’t help but be moved by.

The full post is here.

I’m linking up with Becky this month for her tree squares challenge where we post photos of trees, any trees, in square format. You’ll find Becky’s most recent post here. Oh, and given that I’m pretty much posting daily and you’ll probably get bored with pictures of trees in square formats, feel free to skim on by – I won’t be offended.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

6 thoughts

  1. It is such an incredible place, really makes you stop. We visited this and some of the other memorials in Belgium a few years ago on the 100th anniversary of my Great Uncle who died near here.

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