Flanders Fields – A Place to Remember
From 1914 to 1918, Flanders Fields in Belgium formed part of the Western Front in the First World War. A million soldiers from more than 50 different countries were wounded, missing or killed in action here. Entire cities and villages were destroyed, and the population was on the run. Ypres and Passchendaele became worldwide symbols for the senselessness of war. Today, the peaceful region still bears witness to this history in monuments, museums, cemeteries and the countless individual stories that link it with the world.
Flanders welcomes visitors to come and remember the sacrifice of so many. There are many ways to explore Flanders Fields, including walking trails, cycling, touring by car or cruising the canal ways.
The charming town of Ypres provides an ideal base to tour the
Flanders Fields region. Ypres is home to the Menin Gate, the most famous Commonwealth War Memorial that bears the names of more than 54,000 soldiers missing in the Ypres salient in WW1. Each and every evening at 8pm, the Last Post is sounded under the Menin Gate in a moving ceremony.
A ten-minute drive from Ypres is Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in the world, as well as Polygon Wood, the site of the annual Anzac Day dawn service held each year in Flanders.
The former battlefields, now peaceful and picturesque countryside, also have their own story to tell. Crater holes, graveyards and bunkers dot the landscape as a testimony to the scale and horror of warfare 100 years ago.
Throughout 2017 there is a special program of events and activities for visitors in recognition of the Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. This includes the Australian Commemoration Ceremony to be held at dawn on 26 September 2017 at Polygon Wood.
More information: flandersfields1418.com/passchendaele