French Flanders: The Cemeteries on the Lys Part Eight – Estaires Communal Cemetery & Extension Part One

After our brief visit to the battlefield of Culloden, it’s time to head back to Flanders for your Bank Holiday, if you are in England, reading.  Our next stop on our journey up the River Lys is Estaires, where there is nothing at the gates of the communal cemetery to suggest what lies within.  No sign of a CWGC plaque here at the entrance, which might, unfortunately, cause visitors to pass on by. Continue reading

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And Now For Something Completely Different

This barren, flat, piece of scrubland, about five miles east of the centre of Inverness, saw what would turn out to be the final set piece, hand-to-hand battle to take place, up to the present time (no promises post-Brexit), on British soil.  Continue reading

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French Flanders: The Cemeteries on the Lys Part Seven – Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery

Anzac Cemetery once more, but the weather’s not so good this time.  It’ll probably get better later. Continue reading

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French Flanders: The Cemeteries on the Lys Part Six – A Return to Anzac Cemetery

You might recognise this somewhat idiosyncratic cemetery entrance that incorporates the Cross of Sacrifice, because we have been here before, during our tour of the battlefields and cemeteries associated with the Battle of Fromelles. Continue reading

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French Flanders: The Cemeteries on the Lys Part Five – Sailly-sur-la-Lys Churchyard & War Memorial

The entrance to Sailly-sur-la-Lys churchyard. Continue reading

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Soldat Louis Elich

Following on from last night’s post, allow me to introduce you to Louis Elich, who appears in the 1935-36 volume of the Golden Book (the book was produced between 1933 and 1939 in seven or eight volumes).  When I rattled off yesterday’s post it never occurred to me that I would uncover a photograph of Louis within twenty four hours, and believe me, I have looked in the past, but here he is, a man whom we know, for certain, served in the front line along the Yser.  The symbols along the bottom signify, from left to right; Croix du Guerre with Palm; Victory Medal; 1914-18 Commemorative Medal.  The ‘7 ch. fr.’ on the previous line actually refers to the number of front line stripes he was entitled to, Louis having seven, a not inconsiderable number (each stripe signifying a six month tour) without sustaining a wound, I would have thought.  Interestingly, he doesn’t have, or chose not to receive, the Yser Cross.  The whole Yser Cross saga was actually something of a public relations disaster, and there is a good explanation of why here.

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Yser On Ne Passe Pas!

I could have sworn I had shown you this beautiful little bronze medal years ago, but it appears not, from what I can see. Continue reading

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