WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Aftermath: Ypres in Ruins 1920

This post-war stero-card shows some of the ruins of central Ypres in 1920. In fact it shows some of the rubble and walls of the Cloth Hall with one of the Menin Gate lions in front. The sign among the rubble reads:

THIS IS HOLY GROUND.
NO STONE OF THIS FABRIC MAY BE TAKEN AWAY,
IT IS A HERITAGE FOR ALL CIVILISED PEOPLES.

It was at this time that the future of Ypres was still under discussion; Winston Churchill put forward the idea of preserving it in its wartime state and foresting the old battlefields. The people of Belgium rightly wanted their land back and did not want to reside inside a museum so this never happened, but the rebuilding of the city was not complete until the 1960s.

The Menin Gate Lion seen here was one of a pair that was eventually given to Australian in 1936 and now reside in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

 

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