The Library is open: The Ypres Times

Screenshot 2014-08-13 21.18.58With the Centenary already underway, i thought it was about time I made some documents I have originals of available to those who might find them useful or interesting.

As a start, I will be uploading six copies of The Ypres Times from 1922 & 1925 – the first three have been added today – January & October 1922 and April 1925 – with the remaining three to follow over the next week.  I will gradually add other document as they emerge from the archives.

I do hope you enjoy them – they are a fascinating insight into the postwar commemoration of the “sacred earth” and include many personal accounts that, in all likelihood, were not published elsewhere.

The Library

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Walter Marlborough Pryor – Derelict Tank on edge of R. Steenbeek at St. Julien

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Interesting post from archaeologist Francis Pryor on a painting by his grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Walter Marlborough Pryor DSO & Bar, DL, JP, of a derelict tank on the edge of the Steenbeck, St Julien. The view is from Battalion H.Q. in the line during 3rd Battle of Ypres and was painted in August 1917. From Pryor’s London Gazette entry – 19th January 1918 – he was an acting Lieutenant Colonel from 7th September 1917, so this may have been painted while he was still a Captain (acting Major) with the Hertfordshire Regiment.

Francis’ full blog entry is here.

Anti-British bias at “In Flanders Fields”?

This post has been provocatively titled to see if anyone else shares my confusion as to exactly what impression the people behind the “In Flanders Fields” museum in Ypres are trying to put across. While the new format is a distinct step up from the previous message-heavy style – albeit that I still think that exhibit labels might be an idea worth considering – I really do not understand why having “finished” the museum tour you find the following exhibits sidelined in the restaurant area.

In some display cases at the bottom of the stairs are some very impressive and personal memento’s of the senior British commanders of the BEF.

A label, signed by Haig which was attached to the wreath he laid at the inauguration of the Menin Gate on 24 July 1927.
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A signed portrait of Haig.
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Haig’s spirit burner that Dorothy had insisted he take to the front.
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A signed portrait of Sir John French.
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Plumer’s Field Marshal’s cap.
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A signed portrait of Plumer.
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HRH Prince Maurice of Battenberg’s sword, left with the owner of the estaminet where the 1st Battalion, 60th Rifles had billeted on 22nd August 1914.
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Why are these important exhibits not included in the main exhibition area and consigned to what is effectively a corridor used by people leaving the museum? If anyone can dispel my view that this is more than poor decision making – I would be pleased to hear it.