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  • Day7

    Polygon Wood Cemetery, Zonnebeke

    September 2, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    We spent the day in Belgium today travelling between various cemeteries and war memorials related to my grandfather and his two brothers who fought in WWI in this area. My grandfather's brother, Charles Duncan, was in the 52nd Battalion. He was involved in the battles of Polygon Wood, Ypres and Messines. He was killed in action on the 23rd September 1917 on his 21st birthday. A bomb landed in the gun post he and four others were manning. All were buried in the trench by the bomb and his remains were later exhumed and transferred to Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium.

    So with that being the back story for today, I have split the journey into each of the places we visited in Flanders, the first being Sanctuary Wood Memorial Cemetery with a memorial to the Australian 5th Division. Of the 2,100 soldiers buried here, only about a quarter are identified. The surrounding wood was peaceful and squirrels were running between the graves. It is here Kate started her sketching activities.

    Across the road is another smaller cemetery and what is incredible about all of the cemeteries we visited is how they adjoin the farms around them. This one had a donkey and chicken run on one side, a house and corn fields surrounding the rest.
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