In Flanders Field

By mrswoolybill
This is Essex Farm advanced dressing station, beside the Yser canal, just north of Ypres. Shelters were dug into the bank of the canal and heavily reinforced. They are grim but remarkably spacious inside. The station provided emergency medical care very close to the front line, before casualties were moved on to safer conditions.
Serre Road was set up and run by a Canadian surgeon, called John McCrae.
The 3rd May 1915 was a relatively quiet day. McCrae had just attended the funeral of a friend, he took himself off to the canal bank (background right here) and wrote In Flanders Field.
McCrae didn't think much of the poem and was going to bin it. Fortunately one of his colleagues saw it and reckoned it was pretty good. So he took a chance and sent it to Punch magazine. It's the poem that planted the poppy in the British imagination as the symbol of sacrifice in the Great War.
It's a poem of its age for me, a sort of intermediate stage in the war, when the men had lost their illusions about Boys' Own style adventure and spotless glory, but still believed whole-heartedly in their cause.
McCrae died of influenza in January 1918.
I had been wanting to visit this place for a long time, my thanks to battlefields historian and guide Paul Reed for getting me there.
Thanks for looking,
Moira


Tags: Photo journalism Black and white Poetry Flanders Landscape and travel

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Comments


bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
9 Feb 2018 7:41AM
top composition and bnw conversion....have my UA

happy weekend

Grinllie
cats_123 Plus
16 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
9 Feb 2018 7:49AM
you can feel the despair...lovely mono framing Smile

(not being flippant, but always think the NHS A&E need some station where cases can be filtered while they get on with the daily grind of saving lives)
9 Feb 2018 7:50AM
A great image Moira and made all the better by the story that accompanies it.
It's amazing what power a few words on a piece of paper can have.

JohnSmile
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2295 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2018 7:54AM
Thanks Ollie for the UA, and good morning everyone.
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
9 Feb 2018 7:55AM
great write up and thanks for the link WinkWinkWink
9 Feb 2018 8:29AM



9 Feb 2018 8:31AM
Very interesting image and history
franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2018 8:34AM
Interesting image and write up, Moira.
9 Feb 2018 9:12AM
Interesting story, Moira... didn't know the background to that poem, so thanks.
dales Plus
4 11 Australia
9 Feb 2018 10:04AM
Emotive capture & narrative Moira
Ian
capto Plus
8 6.4k 21 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2018 10:10AM
A great emotional image.Smile
ivor
nonur 12 18 13 Turkey
9 Feb 2018 10:50AM
The poem explains the poppy very well, Moira.
Those bunkers make a great mono image.
Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2018 11:33AM
An image with great impact, excellent write up as well Moira,
Isabel
TrevBatWCC Plus
12 13 16 England
9 Feb 2018 11:39AM
A very poignant and moving image, Moira, a good follow-up to the rusty poppy upload Smile
Trev Smile
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 710 England
9 Feb 2018 1:30PM
Very ineresting write up Moira, it's something I wasn't aware of. A fine illustration to go with it too.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2295 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2018 2:29PM
Thanks to everyone who has called in here today, and special thanks to Ian for adding his UA.
Daisymaye Plus
12 23 18 Canada
9 Feb 2018 2:39PM
It's interesting how things come about. We learn a lot of this site. Very informative and a great image.
SUE118 Plus
12 8 1 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2018 3:13PM
Very poignant.
saltireblue Plus
10 11.2k 69 Norway
9 Feb 2018 7:26PM
It's the third verse of the poem that is so poignant and tugs most at the heart.

Thank you, Moira for adding some, for me at least, mush needed perspective.

Malc
Joline Plus
14 30 59 United States
9 Feb 2018 8:20PM
I'm glad someone saved that poem....it is obviously a classic. We never like our own work apparently.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2295 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2018 7:50AM
Thanks for the UA Jennnn.

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