Countries

The last post in Flanders

We waited patiently and respectfully for the signal to step forward.

Handed the wreath, Dominic and myself, who had been chosen from our GTI the Group Travel Specialists party, placed our memorial at the Menin Gate in Ieper.

Behind us generations from across the world bowed their heads in solemn tribute to the Fallen.

The trenches

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission helped me find my Great Uncle Willie’s grave in Passchendaele.

And my Great Uncle Patrick’s name on the arch at the Thiepval Memorial.

While I also walked in the footsteps of Grandpa George who fought for the Canadian Army.

GTI will help you with your research, provide a guide and a day in Brugge and are currently offering a four-day WW1 Flanders & The Somme from £749pps on selected dates.

A new poignancy

And a memorial to The Somme

Tomorrow’s Remembrance Sunday will be tinged with a fresh poignancy as we remember too this year’s victims, of Covid.

Covid has disproportionately targeted those who lived, and fought, through the 20th Century’s great conflicts.

The Last Tommy, 111-year-old Harry Patch, lived to tell his tale but his friends did not, smote in the mud of Pashendaele… and other killing fields.

Tommy recalled how he was left with a life or death decision in No Man’s Land when he came face-to-face decision with

But that the Bible passage of Moses coming down the mountain with the tablet with Thou Shalt Not Kill shot into his mind.

Soldiers all

A great Great Uncle

And so he chose to injure his foe instead.

Proud Englishman Tommy kept his stories to himself until he finally opened up well past his 100th year for The Last Tommy BBC documentary.

The 106-year-old would meet a German veteran 107-year-old Charles Kuentz and they exchanged Alsatian biscuits and Somerset cider.

We’re written in the story of the Great War

Tommy recalled: ‘I was a bit doubtful before meeting a German soldier. Herr Kuentz is a very nice gentleman however.

”He is all for a united Europe – and so am I.’

LEST WE FORGET

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