Ypres (Ieper) – The Cloth Hall

I’m sure you will all have seen photographs of the ruins of the Cloth Hall and St. Martin’s Cathedral in Ypres during the First World War.  It took nearly forty years, from 1928 to 1967, to rebuild the Cloth Hall, and you have to say it was well worth the effort.  Every time I find myself here though, I can’t help but think of the sixteen men of the 6th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, billeted in the Cathedral’s vaults and killed there when, on 12th August 1915, shells from a German long-distance gun collapsed the vault around them.  Their bodies could not be recovered and they lay entombed where they fell until after the Armistice.  They are now buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, and you can visit them by clicking the link.

Various photos taken at various times up to January 2014:

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As I said, I can’t help thinking of them, every time.

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