YPRES, BEL­GIUM

Getaway (South Africa) - - ESCAPE -

This month marks the cen­te­nary of the end of World War I. The Third Bat­tle of Ypres, or Pass­chen­daele, epit­o­mised the worst hor­rors of trench war­fare. It took place from July to No­vem­ber 1917, a bloody strug­gle for con­trol of the ridges around Ypres, West Flan­ders. The walls of the Menin Gate Memo­rial are en­graved with the names of 54 395 Com­mon­wealth sol­diers still miss­ing from this and other bat­tles fought around the town. South African names fill whole pan­els. The memo­rial plays host to a Last Post cer­e­mony con­ducted here at 8pm ev­ery night for nearly 100 years. If you at­tend, and your eyes some­how re­main dry, you’re stronger than most. The bu­gles sound the Last Post and an el­derly gent calls out: ‘Age shall not weary them, nor the years con­demn. At the go­ing down of the sun and in the morn­ing, we will re­mem­ber them.’ Then there’s one minute of haunt­ing si­lence. The cen­te­nary cer­e­mony held on the 11th of this month should not be missed. Book your flight to­day.

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