zondag 10 augustus 2014

Tyne Cot

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.
“More than any other modern war, ’14-’18 lives in the memory as
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).  

10 opmerkingen:

  1. Thinking about WWl has made me reflect on the current unrest and tragedies taking place daily in our world today, and it seems that lessons are never learnt from previous devastating conflicts. I am also aware of how many of the young men in WWl were like innocent lambs to the slaughter, they had no idea that the war would result in so many of them loosing their lives and that it would last for four years.
    I was looking at a photograph of my Grandfather last night dressed in his Royal Artillery uniform and marvel at how fortunate he was to survive for the whole four years. However, I do believe that his war years had a profound effect on his personality, I remember my father saying how strict and distant he was with his children on his return back home.

  2. Indrukwekkend, het maakt je altijd stil en ontroerd als je over zulke begraafplaatsen loopt. Ik heb vorig jaar een boek gelezen waar het ook over Tyne Cot ging, dus wel apart om nu bij jou foto's te zien. Ik dacht dat het fictief was, maar dus niet.
    Lieve groet, Renny

  3. Indrukwekkend, Marian!

    Liefs, Gerry

  4. Hoi Marian,
    In 2010 waren Ben en ik voor het eerst in West-Vlaanderen, we verbleven een paar dagen in Diksmuide en de laatste overnachting was in Poperinge. We bezochten de IJzertoren, de Dodemansgangen en Ieper... maar ook Tyne Cot Cemetery... we waren diep onder de indruk... het maakt dat je je heel klein en nederig voelt...
    Prachtige foto's heb je gemaakt, het is alsof ik er weer even terug ben...
    Ik wens je een heel fijne avond,

  5. Hello dear Marian! Your photos of Tyne Cot are beautiful. I always feel a reverence in these memorials to the people who have protected the freedoms we enjoy. I am also so saddened with the wars and contentions going on in the world today. It is also sad to see the young ages of the lost ones on the grave markers. I want to thank you for taking us to this beautiful cemetery so I can again be reminded of these brave young souls.
    I also want to wish you a lovely week and thank you for your dear friendship.
    hugs from here...

  6. Such a beautiful cemetery, Marian. My hubby is an officer and when we travel, he always wants to visit cemeteries like this one. They're impressive places with a sad history. Happy new week, Marian! My holidays finished and I'll go to work today.

  7. Hiervan raak je steeds weer diep onder de indruk. Heb kort geleden Post voor Mevrouw Bromley van Stefan Brijs gelezen, een zeer ontroerend boek over de Eerste Wereldoorlog.

  8. So well kept, was the first thing I noticed and the second thing I noticed is the flower like garden in front of each monument so much better than what I see here in the US.

  9. What a truly lovely post. It touched my heart and the fact they their graves are so perfectly cared for is heart-warming. Heros should never be forgotten :)

  10. The ages of the soldiers make me so sad, they were so young! It is very respectful that the cemetery is kept in such good condition, I hope people pass through and think about the sacrifice of all these lives.