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menin gate ypres 11/11/11

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The right place ?

I have been to the Menin Gate more times than I can remember, to go on a 'big occasion' is not my way of remembering/paying respects et al. It will be one big jamboree, lots of grandstanding, digital photographing, umpteen wreath laying going on and on.......... Plus an Olympic theme this year as well.

Better a windy February evening when there is just a few people and no great fuss, then you can get into the soul of the event.

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A truly moving experiance whenever you visit.... we were there a couple of years ago one winters day having just spent the last couple of days following the movements of my mother-inlaws father from his copy of the Royal West Kents regimental diary.... he never spoke to his daughter about his time on the front line and as she had just celebrated her 80 something birthday we felt it was a good time to take both my inlaws to Ypres.

To read about "Hellfire corner" and various other locations and to still be able to trace the route they took from the front line back to Ypres .... we were often just lost for words as my wife read extracts from the diary and details of what happend to them on that day at that location.... there must have been a lot of dust in the air....


The only thing that for me didn't feel right or rest easy was the amount of "shops" selling objects dug up from the battle fields.... some of it personal kit.... from both sides.

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