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Today the six of us are off on our own private trip (hosted by Quasimodo tours) to some of the major First World War battlefield sites around Ypres. Despite four years of bloody fighting and all the lives lost, the front line around the town moved back and forth littke more than 4 miles between 1914-18. Here’s the map we’ve been given as a guide.


Our first stop. The German war cemetery at Langemark. 44,000 Germans (and two British) soldiers are buried here. 1000s of the Germans are 18 year old volunteers who had less than a months drill training before being sent to the front


To be honest, today has been too much to absorb and try and blog about at the same time. We’ve visited a vast array of sights on what was a fantastic and informative tour, but that was also deeply moving. The sheer scale of the slaughter and destruction is hard to take in. I’ll blog about this in detail in the future. Right now I’ll just leave you with a few pictures from the day.

Just some of the names of the German soldiers at Langemark.
The Canadian war memorial.
Row upon row of memorials at the main British cemetery at Tyne Cot.
The excellent and informative museum at Hoodge Crater which is packed with memorabilia from the war.
Just some of the recovered artefacts at Hoodge Crater, which is actually built atop the remains of the crater itself.
Hill 60 has lain untouched since the end of the war and gradually been reclaimed by nature. It still bears all the scars and shell craters left behind.
Hill 60 sums up the futility of the fighting. 10s of 1000s died fighting over the land which swapped hands several sides.