Over the last two weeks I have been driving past this war cemetery twice a day almost every day, so last week I decided I had to stop and take the time to visit it. It's amazing how many people visit the cemetery, especially now with all the commemorations for the start of the first world war a century ago. Even the smaller cemeteries, like the two on either end of the street where we live, have much more visitors now. I think this will be something that will continue for the next four years and then calm down again and the deafening peace and quiet and the overwhelming feeling when entering one of the cemeteries will then return, not that that feeling isn't there now but it's different, not as touching as when you enter it alone without anyone else there. It is a good thing this Great War is remembered, especially with all the war that's going on in the world again now. That saddens me so much, maybe even more because I've been living in the middle of what was once a battlefield and now has so many cemeteries with soldiers from all over the world that came here to fight for freedom. Tyne Cot cemetery is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery on the continent and is therefore one of the most visited ones. So many young people lost their lives here, so so sad.
Dome with angel on one of the chapels that are on either end of the Tyne Cot
Memorial of the Missing wall in the cemetery.
This is the back entrance to the cemetery.
The cross of sacrifice with the stone of remembrance in front of it,
better visible in the picture below.
On the left, one of the chapels and the Tyne cot Memorial of the Missing wall
that goes on all the way to the right where there is a similar chapel but not in the picture.
On the wall are over 34000 names of soldiers that were never found but
lost their lives here during the first world war after the 16th of August 1917.
All the soldiers without a known grave that lost their lives before that time are
on the walls of the Menin gate as you might know.
This Tyne Cot memorial wall is therefore the sequel to the Menin gate.
Graves, grass and flowers are constantly very well taken care of.
In this picture you see the front entrance to the cemetery.
From the cemetery you have a magnificent view on the surrounding fields
and you can see Ieper lying in the distance.
Tyne cot Memorial of the Missing and the Stone of Remembrance in front of it;
in between more graves of soldiers. There are 11954 soldiers buried here,
but as many graves as there are, this is an open cemetery which means that
when remains of soldiers are still found in the surrounding fields,
they will be buried here. The last burial was in 2006.
When remains are found, they are sent to Scotland to be identified
before they are brought back to get a proper burial in this cemetery.
One of the gardeners at work in the grave area right in front of the Tyne Cot Memorial of the Missing.
the ultimate example of a mismatch between what was at stake
and the price that was paid. It is the war of the ‘lost generation’,
sacrificed for a cause which, in hindsight, is difficult to pinpoint.”
(Sophie De Schaepdrijver).