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6th batch photos added: Ieperboog - Ypres Salient

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MichelvA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 6th batch photos added: Ieperboog - Ypres Salient
    Posted: 12 hours 23 minutes ago at 16:26
Although i am not a big fan of tanks, the close up shots look pretty good. Especially the last one where we can see the rivets and the identification number quite clear.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 hours 25 minutes ago at 11:24
Next stop was "The Pondfarm", this is a real farm but also a private museum of war items found on its land over the last 100+ years. It also still has about 1/3 of a German bunker standing there and the owner (Stijn Butaye) has almost completed the construction of a real working live size WW1 tank replica (with the help from friends and sponsors). A unique place and well worth a visit if you're in the area.

34: Collection of found items, probably less than 0,5% of everything shown there. Btw, the cat is real and not from WW1



35: WW1 Tank replica in the field next to the farmhouse



36: A bit closer look



37: Front side



38: A formidable machine



39: D29


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These tanks didn't play a significant role in the battles around Ieper, while formidable fighting machines they got stuck in the mud most of the time and as such became "sitting ducks" for the German guns.

The replica is life size and constructed from the same thickness steel plate, only welded and not rivited like the original. The rivet heads you see are just there to make it look like the original. Also the guns are just empty tubes. Also the engine inside is smaller in size than the original early 20th century version so now it can drive around with 12 people inside vs. the original 8 seats. Also the weight is about 6 tons less than the original (29 vs 35). Still quite a job to make something like this.

A 2nd series of the Pondfarm will follow in the next post later, after which 4 more sites remain to be covered to complete the series of this day.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 June 2021 at 13:35
Thanks for the comments gentlemen, much appreciated.

The next stop was the Passchendaele Memorial park to visit "Faces of War", an artwork created by the local remembrance artist Jan Fieuw. It's 129 sleepers which were found in the area that were used below the tracks of the narrow gauge lines that were used to supply the front.

He carved a face in all of these wooden sleepers and the reason he chose 129 is that people of 129 nationalities lost their lives in these West-Flanders battlefields (both sides).


28:



29:



30:



31:



32:



33: I won't bore you will all 129 faces (I did take some more but still not all 129) but here's one as thanks to our great host and guide for the day, Mr. Marcel Weerts.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2021 at 10:19
Lovely series Pieter and I really appreciate the commentary too. Nice to go on a tour of lesser well known spots as well. Of all the images, photographically 7 is my favourite (lovely shadow as you said), but this is so much more than photography.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2021 at 09:58
Pieter,

Thanks for the continuing series and I completely agree about the oxymoron of the term 'Great War' together with the term 'to end all wars' as Joe mentioned.

The two that grabbed my attention the most - and thanks for posting these specifically - were #'s 24 and 27; the route from horror to home couldn't be better expressed than in #24 - and lets not forget how real that distance must have been for those experiencing the worst of it all in Paschendale, a name which in the UK at least brings with it it's own set of images and stories. The shot of the remaining crosses is so poignant; gone but, definitely, not forgotten and a lasting reminder to people's memories of long lost family members. How many of us wish that we would learn as a community from remains such as this.

Looking forward to the rest of the series - you've done the area and the history proud, Pieter.,

Take care and best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2021 at 06:17
Pieter, as others have remarked, you have captured the history, the drama and poignancy very movingly in your images.
The other sadly un-realized name for this conflict was "The War To End All Wars".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Coast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2021 at 05:27
Thank you Pieter for taking us along on an other photographic exploration
The trenches and the corrugated are fascinating but its the cemeteries and graves of the dead that leave one speechless. Wondering how many millennia do mothers and fathers have to send off their children to slaughter?

Well photographed the tragedies of mankind
I'm very rarely able to pick favorites. How can one have favorites of a subject as such?
Thank you for the fine photographs

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2021 at 20:43
Thanks for the comments gentlemen, and thanks for the poem Roger, very poignant and fitting.

And Neil, I agree the term 'Great War' is probably one of the most cruel oxymorons. One of the main problems and cause of the many casualties was that the army commanders (actually on both sides) were still trying Napoleontic tactics while technology and war machinery had developed so fast that these tactics were no longer valid. In the end it was the underground tunnel war that decided the final outcome, not all the poor souls above ground firing at each other from the trenches.


The fourth place we stopped was Frezenberg Ridge Scottish Memorial, this is were the Scottish troops (supported by other commonwealth soldiers) started their march in the third battle of Ieper, which was later renamed to the battle of Passchendaele.

22: The soldier that's no longer there



23: Only their shadows remain



24: A long way from Passchendaele, but a much longer way from home



25: Alba (Gaelic for Scotland)



26: All the memorials in the area are frequently visited and a lot of visitors leave little remembrance crosses with a paper poppy on it



27: Over time they become weathered, but stay in place 'lest we forget'


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Almost halfway, 4 places done, 6 more to come.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:30
Hi Pieter,

Thanks for taking the time to share such a moving and emotive set of images from around this (in)famous location.

You have shown attention to detail throughout and, especially, a care in displaying the more sensitive locations and scenes across these three sections.

It seems that in the UK, the 'Great War' (if there was ever such a misnomer, that has to be one) was long pushed back into the darker parts of people's memories; it was never the topic of documentaries, films, articles etc. for so long - long enough, perhaps, that all those touched by it were no more, and by then it was possibly too late for the most recent generations to understand why it was seemingly ignored in the wider public arena. Images and historical sites such as these are, therefore, so important for the modern generation - to understand the true horrors of life through that period and to put into stark context the life that was reflected in lines such as those shared so well by Roger above; clearly, a reflection of the realities of trench life.

You have managed to create images that capture much of the starkness, even now, of the area, but also some of the strange beauty that this has produced after many years of nature taking control and mellowing the environment - which is why, for me, the combination of the story and the resulting effect of 100 years being left to gently grow old means that your very first image combines the story and the final outcome so perfectly.

Thanks for sharing these and for taking us on such a carefully crafted tour round the area.

Take care and best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2021 at 20:32
Originally posted by Dopol Dopol wrote:

And another great set Pieter.
Thanks

+1. Respectfully captured.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dopol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2021 at 19:35
And another great set Pieter.
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2021 at 16:20
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

peaceful and quiet there but when you start imagining what caused the crater and what life in these trenches and bunkers was like you get a totally different picture.


     Suicide in the Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumbs and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

      Siegfried Sassoon
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2021 at 16:10
Our third stop was the French WW1 cemetery Saint-Charles de Potyse.

A very different atmosphere vs the Commonwealth cemeteries, but still a sobering place with ~5000 French casualties.


16: Statue overlooking the site



17: Mort pour la France, he didn't even make it through the first year



18: Crosses for the Christians and a different headstone for Muslim casualties



19: And the Jewish also got a different headstone



20: Fallen cross



21: Behind the cemetery an old farmhouse, probably built ~100 years ago after the hostilities ended and it seems the time stood still there


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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 June 2021 at 17:32
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

TFL and 8 more locations to follow


Keep the great work coming Pieter.
Respect. Observe. Capture. Enjoy.
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