Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Westvleteren, Ploegsteert and Westhoek in Belgium

I often make visits to the Westhoek region to resupply my stash of Westvleteren.

It's the ideal moment to visit this beautiful region and its war memorials.   In WW1 this area was drained in blood.  Almost 450 000 people lost their lives in the trenches during the first industrialized conflict.  For the first time things like gas and tanks were used.
There are lots of interesting things to see like the Menin gate  in Ypres,  and the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Zonnebeke.
This time we went a little bit further to Ploegsteert.  Technically it's not Westhoek anymore, as it is situated in the Walloon part of the country.  

In 1990 the English band The Farm released a song 'All together now' about the extraordinary events that took place on Christmas 1914 in this little town. 

People from both sides came to a 'truce' and played a football match in 'no mans land'.   There's now  a memorial.  They even constructed some trenches next to the monument.


 Next to it is a cemetery.  Such a waste of young lives.  

In Ploegsteert we also vistited the Hyde Park Memorial.

A few km's from this memorial (back in Flanders) we also stopped at the Island of Ireland Peace Park.  Definitely worth a visit.  

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