French Flanders: Neuve Chapelle Part Four – Neuve Chapelle War Memorial

Neuve Chapelle war memorial is an unprepossessing little memorial outside this building in the centre of the village. 

As with a great many places in French Flanders,…

…the village was smashed to pieces during the Great War,…

…these photos showing damage after the March 1915 battle (above & below).

British soldiers – East Lancashires & Black Watch – in trenches at Neuve Chapelle, December 1914.

Unprepossessing perhaps, but these rather stylish 1920s Art Deco figures on the front are worth a closer look.

Ruined church, Scottish soldier and comrade’s grave.

The famous crucifix that not only survived the battle,…

…but the war,…

…as these two photos, taken in 1919, prove.

Military victims.  The tablet in the foreground of this shot…

…includes the phrase ‘To us the memory, to them immortality’, which I think I quite like.

Civilian victims.

Streets once more passable, homes not so much (above & below).

2nd Bn. Royal Munster Fusiliers officers having some grub outside a dugout in the line at Neuve Chapelle, May 1915.

A company sergeant major (left) and three officers of the 2nd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the trenches at Neuve Chapelle, apparently after a morning’s sniping, sometime in 1915.

View of Neuve Chapelle soon after the battle, these aerial photos taken on 24th April 1915.  The highlighted area…

…is seen again here two years later, this photograph and both maps dated 1917.  Nothing, really, has changed in the interim.

The caption says ‘Officers of the 2nd Bn. 8th Gurkha Rifles, Neuve Chapelle, 1915’.  Considering the Germans controlled the village until the battle in March, and considering that we have seen, in this very post, what the village looked like afterwards, and considering the condition of the large brick building behind these gents, I would seriously question the truth of that statement, wouldn’t you?

Panoramic view looking towards the Aubers Ridge taken from Neuve Chapelle after its capture,…

…this map showing the width of shot captured by the photographer, Neuve Chapelle marked by the mauve circle.

You may remember I showed you some panoramic shots taken by British photographers from Fauquissart a while back; whether you do or don’t, this is a section of one of them,…

…the same trees seen here on the left in this section of the panorama taken from Neuve Chapelle.

And finally, our map once again, but this time with the final two locations we have yet to visit on our tour marked near the bottom.

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