I have spent the last few days in Bruges and travelled to Ypres myself only two days ago. The experience of visiting these places is one I hope always to remember. Lest we forget.
A couple of weeks ago, I went on a day trip with some of my students to the battlefields of WWI, in and around Ypres. Having read and taught plenty of WWI fiction in my time, I was intrigued to see the contemporary reality of the world of mud and gore depicted by those who experienced the horrors of trench warfare. Would there still be marks of the conflict on the landscape? Would I be able to recognise any of the places I had read about? Would I feel moved by what I saw, able to imagine the scenes of conflict that had once scarred this now peaceful corner of the Belgian countryside?
The journey to Ypres was in itself a time of reflection. As we drove to Dover to catch the ferry, our guide explained that we were following in the exact footsteps of the soldiers, who would have come…
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