The results of World War 1

A few years ago I and an ex of mine went to see the WW1 battle fields in Belgium. These are some of the photos.

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The ex and her great-grandparents. They both died just before the war and it took until 1924 before the ground was cleared and he (her grandfather) could get to the village to erect the crosses over his parents.

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Usually, after the war the grave pits were exhumed and the bodies interred in cemeteries. You know the places that were undisturbed by the nearness of the stones. These two photos are of Lijsenthoek cemetery outside Ypres in Flanders. It holds just 10,000, mostly 20 year old’s.

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6 Responses to The results of World War 1

  1. Kelly says:

    Even as a teenager, I remember being awed (reverence, not amazement) by the rows and rows and rows of graves I saw at some of the European war cemeteries.

    • V.H says:

      I’d known so much before I saw it that I was in a daze. The sheer ordinariness, the flatness, yes the blahness of the landscape only exacerbates the wonder. It’s flat in a way I’d rarely seen except from a train.

  2. Sage says:

    so many graves, those shots are always a little breath-taking to realize the lives lost.

    • V.H says:

      What’s hard is that the 10,000 is but a tiny fraction of those killed. And that almost 100,000 are still missing in the tiny tiny 15 mile segment of the front. Their names are on the Menin Gate and the Tyne Cot curtain wall.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I second what the others said. It’s quite something to see, and I’m sure the photos don’t actually do it justice. I read recently that, from almost 100 years ago, WW1 remains are still being found. I don’t know a lot about this area or Belgian at all really, so excuse the stupid question (if it is), but are these mass graves where the stones represent who is believed to be buried there after battle or had they been brought there to be laid to rest individually and honored with headstones?

    • V.H says:

      Yes, they are still being found. Rarely though are any found outside of existing burial pits as in individual bodies. But in ones isn’t unheard of either. What tends to happen is the army records are matched between German and French/British/ Belgian and the anomalies marked.
      The last one was picked up from photos taken by reconnaissance plane’s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fromelles_(Pheasant_Wood)_Military_Cemetery

      The last bit reads a bit oddly. I’m not certain exactly what it is you want to know.

      I’ll give you a synopsis of what could’ve occurred.
      In general, there was two types of burials. One where the had time, the other where they hadn’t.
      When they had time the cemeteries were small. When they hadn’t it was a long deep pit with the bodies laid shoulder to shoulder, then filled in. Now I’m giving the military edited version. What did occur in the middle of battles was the pit was dug beforehand and the bodies were piled in. You have to realize there’s two reason why an army buries the dead, regardless of which army. Disease and moral. You don’t want the smell of rotting flesh in the noses of those alive and expected to fight. Nor do you want the disease that goes with it either.
      Anyway, after the war the pits were opened and the dead re-interred.
      What’s different here is that this is the burial ground attendant to a casualty clearing station. http://www.greatwar.co.uk/ypres-salient/cemetery-lijssenthoek.htm

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