Ypres Salient WW1 sites
This website covers the following individual places:
The town of Ypres
makes an ideal base from which to explore the various sites and has two of the most significant such sites itself. For a summary of the history of not just the town but also the whole so-called Ypres Salient
– see the background section
of the separate chapter for the town
The places outside the town can be toured by car, motorbike or bicycle on an independent basis, but there are also numerous tour operators offering everything from day tours to multi-day packages for individuals or groups. The website flandersfields.be lists over a dozen such operators. Even helicopter or light aircraft flights over the former battlefields are available. Moreover, there are also self-drive programmes of variable length on offer (battlefield-tours.com), which should be a good option for those who want to avoid group travel, being guided and rigid schedules, but do not want to do all the independent research themselves.
If you want to do it independently, this website can also help guide you to the various places, and give you some first-hand impressions of what to expect, but you’d have to research much of the historical background yourself. Only the essentials are given here. However, there are so many in-depth resources out there that it is easy to find tonnes of information. In fact it is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of detail given on the really dedicated websites, not to mention the countless history books that have been published about this conflict.
For the purposes of this website no such in-depth historical detail is deemed necessary. People interested in these sites will typically already have at least a decent background knowledge or will be prepared to obtain that from elsewhere. And of course, some of the individual places themselves are well suited to those who want to learn more and get an overview – for that purpose, the excellent In Flanders Fields Museum
would make the best first port of call of the lot.
In addition to the separate chapters listed above, you can find all over the region numerous war cemeteries, individual monuments dedicated to specific countries, or specific people, such as the famous war poet John McCrae, author of possibly the best-known WW1 poem, “In Flanders Fields”, which you find referenced a lot in these parts (not least in the museum in Ypres). Near Essex Farm war cemetery you can find some remnants of concrete shelters of a former advanced dressing station, which is where McCrae penned this celebrated piece.
- Flanders WW1 lands 1 - war cemetery
- Flanders WW1 lands 2 - Essex Farm cemetery
- Flanders WW1 lands 3 - memorial
- Flanders WW1 lands 4 - a memorial register
- Flanders WW1 lands 5 - John McCrae memorial
- Flanders WW1 lands 6 - by the Ypres-Yser Canal
- Flanders WW1 lands 7 - bunkers of the old dressing station
- Flanders WW1 lands 8 - Welsh memorial
- Flanders WW1 lands 9 - memorial bench
- poppy field