Sunday, 19 December 2010

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Day - Advent Blog

Oops I missed a day, but this one is for two days, a bit long I know...........

Friday I went off for the weekend with Dave, my brother Ray and sister in law Michelle to Belgium. I did think if it snowed Ray may decide not to drive all that way,  I knew that it would be unlikely that he would call it off. This is  the reason I thought I may come back twitching, but  I'm not!!  It did snow and no he didn't call it off,  he picked us up and off we went, actually the worse road was ours.  Once we were on the main roads it was fine all the way to Ypres, that's where we were staying. That evening we went to the Last Post Ceremony it happens at 8pm every evening of the year at the Menin Gate. It was really very moving, but absolutely freezing!

The Last Post Ceremony, Menin Gate


Town Square Ypres

Shame the shop was closed

Thankfully the shop was closed!!!!!!!

Saturday after breakfast we set off through the snow to visit Memorials and War Graves from the First World War. Our first stop was at Sanctuary Wood, and Hill 62 here there is a memorial to the brave Canadian Soldiers how fought in defence of Ypres from April to August 1916.

Sanctuary Wood Trenches

Hill 62

Hill 62

 After a coffee break we  visited Tyne Cot War Graves, there are 11,954 graves 8,367 are of un-named soldiers. As you can see  it was deep snow, thank goodness for our walking boots! 

Tyne Cot

Tyne Cot Block House

Tyne Cot

Grave with No Name
Then we went to pay  our respects to Michelle's Great Grandfather Stephen, his grave is in a small cemetery next to the road in Elveringe. I do have to say that all of these cemeteries are kept in the most wonderful condition and show such respect to these brave men. Ray and Michelle have been visiting Stephen's grave every year for I think 8 or 9 years. This is mine and Dave's second visit to the area, last year  the weather was a lot better.

Stephen  Ferry

Then it was back to Ypres  and  more food and a couple of well deserved drinks!

It was decided that we would start for home straight after breakfast today as the weather didn't look as though it would be too good. It was a very good and quick journey home, we got onto an earlier train than we had booked, we were home for lunch......

Here's to next year,  we  are planning  to pay a visit to Ray and my great uncle's grave and Michelle has another 2 relatives buried in France so we are going to make a visit to them as well, but in better weather. It wasn't all visiting war graves we did a bit of shopping and a lot of laughing, we had a really great time. I was so glad that Ray insisted we went and didn't give in, but then Ray never gives in, he has a lot of courage, for many reasons he is someone I admire.


  1. Sounds like a great brother. Glad you had a lovely time, shame about the cake shop being closed.

  2. Amazing pictures. Glad you had a lovely time.

  3. Very moving. It sounds as though you had a good trip.