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Europe

The brutality and confusion of Flanders Fields

If you Google “is Flanders Fields a real place,” the pre-baked Google response is American centric and falls flat of the truth: “Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial, a World War I cemetery on the southeast edge of the town… Continue Reading →

The Panthéon and Hoche

The Panthéon in Paris is King Louis XV’s great contribution to the world of cemeteries… sort of. The original intent in 1755 was to build a church to replace the crumbling Abbey of St. Genevieve, but due to lack of… Continue Reading →

Who is buried in the Orchard Dump Cemetery? (a.k.a. Finding Max)

Note: The backstory of the Finding Max series can be found on the Remembrance page. All of the assumptions made below are based on probability. There is always the chance that Max could be anywhere in the graveyard… or not… Continue Reading →

Very few original, intact WW1 trenches still exist

Evidence of the Great War is still visible on the landscape in Western Europe. More than a billion shells were launched during the war and farmers/construction workers still frequently find ordinance or gas canisters (bomb disposal experts get calls daily)…. Continue Reading →

Beautiful Photos of Brugge’s Canals

Brugge’s prime and strategic location on the North Sea has ensured that the area was inhabited long before recorded history… and made sure that every European invading force came to the city in an attempt to conquer and control its… Continue Reading →

Little Details, Brugge

This is my second Easter spent in Brugge. The first was in 2011… when the Tour de Flanders (La Ronde) was still in Brugge. This time around it was La Niña’s choice to visit the city and explore. For this… Continue Reading →

Finding Frank… at the Menin Road South Cemetery, Ypres

In 1916, Menin Road was the route that Allied troops took from Ypres to the front line. Today, the front line is gone but the road still exists (Menenstraat) and if you leave Ypres from the Menin Gate, it’s a… Continue Reading →

Finding Joseph… at the Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery in Souchez

Cabaret-Rouge is close to Vimy Ridge (France) and is one of a handful cemeteries we visited outside of Ypres and Passchendaele. We travelled here to visit the grave of a great-uncle: Joseph McKenna and leave a memorial bag. Cabaret-Rouge is… Continue Reading →

So many cemeteries… so much death…

The overwhelming thing about touring the countryside in Belgium and France is the sheer number of cemeteries in a relatively small amount of space. Some are on the side of the road, some are hidden behind bushes and trees, and… Continue Reading →

The Dominion British Cemetery (a.k.a. Finding Jack)

For the posts on Jack McEachern and group of men from Cabri/Mill Village who fought with the 209th Battalion, start here. We went to the Dominion British Cemetery in Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt to look for Jack McEachern. With me came blossoms from… Continue Reading →

Langemarck Cemetery and the first gas attack

The focus of our visit to France and Belgium has been on finding our relatives who died in the Great War and honouring those who died in the Allied forces. However, with this post I want to point out that… Continue Reading →

Last Post in Ypres, Belgium

We remember our war dead once a year on Nov 11th. The people of Ypres remember OUR war dead EVERY DAY and have done so since 1928; specifically, those who fell while defending Ypres. It’s humbling and I will admit… Continue Reading →

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