Brandhoek Cemetery is the place Captain Noel Chavasse was laid to rest.
Captain Chavasse is one of just three men to have been awarded Britain’s highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross. What's more, he has also been accorded the Military Cross.
I am presently reading a book called “In Foreign Fields” by Dan Collins and it is about troopers who've been granted medals in Afghanistan and Iraq. After you recognise what a soldier was required to accomplish to be able to be granted an MC, it truly forces you to understand what a daring man Capt Chavasse was particularly as he was a member of the Royal Medical Corps and never fired a shot in the course of the war.
My next stop was close to the village of Passchendaele at the biggest British Military Cemetery at Tynecot. Upwards of 12,000 men lie buried here. From the cemetery, you are able to see for a couple of miles everywhere over fields and it seems tough to think about the carnage that had been there 90 years ago. The visitors centre offers a heritage of the area and the names of many of the fallen and lost are sent out calmly over loudspeakers.
Leaving Tynecot, I started to head back in the direction of Ypres stopping at Hill 61 (Sanctuary Wood) on the way back. There is a modest museum and some preserved trenches here. For the duration of my trip, the temperatures wasn’t great and though it had been nothing like as awful as conditions might have been during The First World War, the bottom of the trenches really looked fairly dreadful. It cost a couple of Euros to get in and this was the first spot I began to experience the effects of the infamous mud.
My subsequent supposed stop was the Hooge Crater. As earlier in the day, I had a hard time trying to find it however I saw a modest independent museum known as the Hooge Crater Museum which in fact had an amazing assortment of artefacts such as a British Ambulance and a Victoria Cross.
My sightseeing for the day was not finished as I still needed to visit the notable Cloth Hall that was basically destroyed (since entirely reconstructed) and also the Last Post ceremony and that is conducted at 8pm each night at the Menin Gate. I always find the Last Post really haunting and moving to hear. Following it was finished, two wreaths were placed by young British soldiers and was followed by a recital from Laurence Binyon’s “For The Fallen”
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Written and contributed by ratherton