French Flanders: The Cemeteries on the Lys Part Ten – Estaires War Memorial

Estaires war memorial is not only quite unusual, and I think quite beautiful, but damned tricky to photograph, even if it doesn’t look it.

I would suggest a drone,…

…or a stepladder.

Nothing whatsoever to do with the figure,…

…which is striking enough,…

…and everything to do with the placement of the names of the dead,…

…which just happens to be on the tiles beneath our feet,…

…making them fiendishly difficult to photograph.  And you know me – I can’t miss any of the names, now can I?  It wouldn’t be right, nor respectful, in my book.  Or on my site.  And not being able to afford a drone (nor a stepladder, come to that), what follows is a series of photos that, by the end of the post, should have covered all the names, but which from a photographic viewpoint (i.e. yours) will be incredibly boring,…

…so to give you something of interest to look at, they are arbitrarily interspersed with a handful of accompanying black & white photographs, all courtesy of the IWM, showing British troops engaged in various activities in and around Estaires during the early years of the war – moments in time in the history of both town and war, frozen on film forever.

Now maybe nobody in the world will ever need to know this stuff, but to make life a little easier for anyone who does, the photograph above has been doctored to show only the tiles that are inscribed with names, in white – nineteen on the left of the blank middle column, and eighteen on the right.

So in this shot, for example, you now know exactly where you are looking (the centre column of blank tiles features the twig).  Got it?

Here we are looking at the three left hand columns of names, beginning with twelve tiles containing the names of 105 Great War military casualties,…

…beneath which are three tiles containing twenty one civilian Great War casualties (top row both above & below), with eighteen military casualties of the Second World War on the tiles nearest the camera (bottom row both above & below),…

…and finally, a single tile in the final row inscribed with three names from later conflicts; one wonders the fate, and date, of the man who died in Germany.

Huntley and Palmers.  Still going.

The right hand side begins the same,…

…the first twelve tiles, again in three columns, containing 104 more names of Great War military casualties,…

…then another three tiles, nearest the camera, with a further sixteen Great War civilian casualties,…

…followed by twelve civilian casualties of the Second World War (above & below).

I think all the names are covered and legible if enlarged (and if not, I can supply even more detailed photos if required.  Just ask.), should anyone ever need them for research purposes.  Or any reason, come to that.

Whatever that wheeled vehicle is, I want one!

Algeria, Morocco & Tunisia plaque (top) and World War II plaque (bottom) on the side of the memorial.

Images (insets above & photo below) showing the destruction of Estaires in 1918.

Our tour moves on, but not far, next post, as we cross to the south of the River Lys once more to visit the small commune of La Gorgue.

You coming?

This entry was posted in Armentières to La Gorgue, French Flanders, French War Memorials. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to French Flanders: The Cemeteries on the Lys Part Ten – Estaires War Memorial

  1. Sid from Down Under says:

    I cannot resist …. Ah ha – your second comment – glad to see you’re coming closer to buying that drone I previously sent you a price for – just give the Missus a nudge that next Fathers Day is be far enough away for her to save up.

    Also noted the inscription photographing difficulty

    Sorry to suggest that your desired wheeled vehicle is probably a water carrier – not a plonk barrel ….. or if the latter it must be to numb the senses of warfare

    From the look on faces in your last picture they’re either in splendid anticipation on their way to the plonk barrel or have just partaken

    • Magicfingers says:

      I haven’t stopped thinking about getting one, actually, since your suggestion. I bet it is a water carrier, too. Though I prefer Nick’s suggestion below.

  2. Nick Kilner says:

    Excellent, that’s a really unusual memorial! I note Baldrick didn’t offer to hoist you skyward onto his shoulders in order to improve photographic quality. You just can’t get the staff these days lol. Wasn’t that vehicle in wacky races?
    Fantastic pics, as ever

    • Magicfingers says:

      Thanks Nick. I love this memorial. And I shall make your point, which is a very good one, to Baldrick, who I am meeting in London tomorrow as he pays a one night visit and which will find us at the London Palladium for a very non-London Palladium show. I can, however, imagine his response already.

  3. John in Canada says:

    Zappa ? You’re taking Baldrick to see Frank Zappa ? : )

  4. Magicfingers says:

    I really should mention, to those who might be aware, that both Balders & I are huge FZ fans – indeed, it was through his music that we first met (those in the know will have spotted the link that still exists in this website’s address). Me, I saw the great man (again, not Baldrick) live five times. Baldrick, he’s far too young.

Leave a Reply to Magicfingers Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.