At every turn around Ypres there is a sign for a World War 1 cemetery. We decided to visit Tyne Cot, just a short drive from Zonnebeke and Ypres and the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.
Parking at the side of the road, we started our visit at the very impressive and well laid out visitor centre. Lots of fascinating information, personal stories, artefacts and letters and so much to read and take in. Constantly flashing up on a wall is a picture of a solder killed in the conflict together with his name, age and regiment. Very sombre and very moving.
Outside it really hits home. Rows and rows and rows of headstones – 11,956 burial plots in this place alone. The numbers become reality and the scale of the slaughter is very apparent. Just in this little area alone 400,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers lost their lives.
The headstones are immaculately tended and the atmosphere is peaceful and respectful. We walked and looked.
Son had bought earlier a poppy cross and spontaneously decided to lay it on the grave of an unknown soldier.
We sought out the graves belonging to four young German men also buried here. Only one has been named.
This is one of the “Silent Cities”, somewhere you cannot easily get out of your head, nor should it be.