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Jacky Platteeuw

Some Good News!

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Jacky Platteeuw

At last some good news from Ieper.

Next month the works will start to extend and embellish the John McRae site. The domain of 2 hectares will, once finished, become a 'environmental and pedagogical peaceparc'.

The plans are looking great. The berm and meadow leading up to the 49th Divisional Memorial will be included in the site. Footpaths and an entrance for wheelchairs will be made. Notice-boards will indicate and emphasise the importance of the site. Will also be incorparated the recently found basements of a 1919 temporary house. THE eye-catcher however should be a gigantic poppy meadow. Works should be finished somewhere in may next year.

Together with the new parc at Boezinge, were the Yorkshire trench is now being restored by the Diggers, I think Ieper will have two new major points of interest to offer next year.

Jacky

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paul guthrie

Great news Jacky! Just in time for our US Branch WFA eight day trip/seminar you have helped plan.

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Guest jbd
(snip."Next month the works will start to extend and embellish the John McRae site. The domain of 2 hectares will, once finished, become a 'environmental and pedagogical peaceparc'."(snip)

I am delighted to hear of the opening and look forward to visiting the area.

I have to admit that I am concerned with the overuse, indeed abuse, of the word "peace" in the Ypres area.

Roads commemorating the British army and it's leaders, are "renamed".

The local military museum is dumbed down and called "peace" museum. Simultaneously, important military artefacts are removed from view.

Tyne Cot Cemetery is used as a totally unsuitable background for a "peace" concert.

A "peace poetry reading rave" is held under the Menin Gate and access denied to many parts of the area. Scathing comments are made about the leaders of the UK and US, two nations that have done more to bring peace and freedom to Belgium than any other. The two leaders are doing their utmost to rid the world of tyranny and ensure real and lasting peace.

The description 'Memorial Park' would be a far more appropriate descriptionof the John McRae site. I wonder if the PC clique in Ypres are aware that some sections of Canadian society regard John McRae as being militaristic. They did not like those immortal words.

**********Take up our quarrel with the foe************l

Barrie Dobson

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Hedley Malloch
I have to admit that I am concerned with the overuse, indeed abuse, of the word "peace" in the Ypres area. (big snip) ... The description 'Memorial Park' would be a far more appropriate descriptionof the John McRae site. ... (another snip) ... I wonder if the PC clique in Ypres ... (snip)

Barrie,

In case you had not noticed Ypres is in Belguim; it is owned and run by Belgians. It is their town. We are not talking about a municipal park in a Bristol suburb here. How would you feel if the burghers of Ypres came across to your home town and told you how to commemorate November 11?

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Guest jbd
[Ypres is in Belguim; it is owned and run by Belgians.  It is their town. [note from JBD- true in part Hedley but I think that legally CWGC monuments and graveyards are British)

Hedley, It may surprise you but I am aware of that. After all I have been there before and will be there again next week (Same day that you are visiting Paddy's Rocket)

I think it would be fair to describe Ypres as a tourist area. Certainly without them the economy would be dramatically altered. Now I too live in an area that owes a great deal to tourism in Worcestershire. We too have a battlefied (where one of the early Charlies was beaten!)

We do infact welcome suggestions from Tourists. Our battlefield visitors obviously do not compare in number with those of Ypres but we do, none the less, accomodate them. We have not renamed the battlefield as a peace park.Fort Royal remains called just that. We have not cemented over the scars where swords were sharpened. Raves are confined to night clubs.

The artifacts in the Commandery (museum) are relevant. So too are the events. There are frequent re enactments. We have even had Richard Holmes and Mike Steadman giving talks there (about The Great War) We have a rather nice park called Gheluvelt Park. No "peace" about it although it is very tranquil and is a beautiful memeorial to the Worcestershire Regiment. We are proud of our history and have no plans to change it just to suit the PC brigade.

In forever pandering to the PC brigade, Ypres is in grave danger of alienating the very people they seek to attract. For you to believe that any tourist area can operate in isloation and ignore the feelings of tourists is just folly.

Incidentally if Ypres were to suggest repositioning Tyne Cot and the Menin Gate in London (or Bristol if you prefer), I might just support the. Just as long as we don't have to take the cloth ears museum.

Barrie Dobson

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Jacky Platteeuw
After all I have been there before and will be there again next week

Barrie,

Does that mean that we have to declare the state of emergency here or install a curfew ??? :P:P

Jacky

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paul guthrie

What, praytell, is Paddy's Rocket?

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Chris_Baker

I believe Mr Dobson is referring to the Irish memorial tower near Messines.

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ianw

I share Barrie's bemusement to a degree and do wonder wonder what modifications to a "peaceparc" are implied by making it a "pedagogical " example of the breed.

My dictionary suggests negative connotations to the word pedagogical associating it with pedantry - which doesn't help my comprehension much - although it probably could be applied to the committee or individual who dreamed up the description . A poppy field sounds obviously appropriate, environmentally friendly and beautiful to boot.

I will certainly be happy if the peaceparc's commodious 2 hectares can accomodate future peace concerts , peace poetry readings etc rather than the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot - although I somehow suspect they will remain in demand for these types of event.

Having been to Boesinghe with Jacky , conservation of the Yorkshire Trench area is certainly to be welcomed. All in all , good news indeed.

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Guest jbd
What, praytell, is Paddy's Rocket?

Paul, I must apologise, my expression was purely slang. I believe it's correct title is "The Irish Space Centre"

Because I do not wish to claim any more posting numbers, may I also answer Jacky. Touche and I will give you best on that one (this time anyway!)

Mr Baker, if you must be so formal would you mind adressing me as "sir" - not with a capital "S"

Barrie

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Jimmy Taylor

As an Irishman I feel that Barrie should save his Irish jokes for some less serious site.

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Paul Reed

I thought the whole tone of Barrie's posting on this thread was quite pathetic, to be honest.

We should welcome this move, and not sour it with strange and offensive comments - have we learned nothing from the previous forum?? :(

Incidentally, the In Flanders Fields Museum, to my knowledge, does not call itself a 'peace' museum by title. What it does do for thousands of people new to Ypres and the Salient each year is give them a good background to what happened - and a good place for them to start a tour.

Let's all grow up and forget this 'Ypres mafia' nonsense - for that's what it is; just nonsense.

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egbert

....Ypres Mafia...? Hm, very strong and interesting vocabulary, strange comment; do you eventually know more about this nonsense?

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laughton

As a colonial "aka Canadian" I would like to see this issue taken more seriously.

For those that don' know of JM's origin:

This poem was first published anonymously in London “Punch.” The author is Dr. John McCrae, formerly of the RoyalVictoria Hospital at Montreal, now with No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in France.

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Guest jbd
As an Irishman I feel that Barrie should save his Irish jokes for some less serious site.

Joke! What Joke?

Seriously Jimmy I first heard the description from an Irishman, granted he lived in Birmingham, we were on a Battlefield Tour coach passing by and he had been at the Bushmills.

I think Irish people have a wonderful sense of humour and it seems to me that all the best Irish jokes are written by Irish people. I always enjoy lunchtime in Tommy's bar on July 1st. Full of Irishmen, the humour flows thick and fast. They certainly give as good as they get. There is nothing but good fellowship (even from the ladies), not a word out of place, nothing but smiles and laughter.

July 1 is a solemn date in all our calendars but we must try to keep a sense of perspective.

Nonetheless Jimmy, if I offended you in any way, I can only apologise.

Barrie Dobson

PS Message for Hedley. They take off their sashes!

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Paul Reed
....Ypres Mafia...? Hm, very strong and interesting vocabulary, strange comment; do you eventually know more about this nonsense?

Get your facts right for once; this is a phrase first used on this forum by Barrie himself under the thread 'Eating Places in Ieper'.

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Guest jbd
I thought the whole tone of Barrie's posting on this thread was quite pathetic, to be honest.

Does anyone recognise the following words?

"Sad event at the Menin Gate 15 September 2002." " It is a grossly improper use of a national memorial" "and we feel it is all part of an increasing trend to see the WWI battlefields as 'theme' parks."

Below the words are a series of photographs including the most infamous one that shows the Menin Gate bathed in a 'rave pink' glow from floodlights.

You will find them, and more, on Paul's own website - The Old Front Line.

Don't misunderstand me, it is a superb web site full of useful information. An absolute credit to Paul. However perhaps when other people comment on the same theme ( forgive the pun) it is perhaps a little hypocritical to suggest that they are pathetic.

Paul is a professional tour guide and author and I can understand that he perhaps wishes to distance himself from critcism of an area that is important to him in his professional life. Fair enough and I have no problems with that. However other people do not necessarily have to accept the same constraints.

I do believe that Stad Ieper -vredesstad (City of Peace) is perhaps overdoing it a bit with the constant use of the word peace. It is as if they are ashamed of what happened between 1914 and 1918 and wish to disassociate themselves from it. Naturally they still want the tourists that wish to see the sites that relate to the WAR that raged in that area.

Is it really pathetic to suggest that a more appropriate memorial to John McRae would be to call the area a "memorial" park? You may not agree, that is your prerogative. To suggest that opposing views are pathetic is arrogant.

You are quite correct Paul, the museum does not call itself a peace museum. However it does organise and publicise a number of 'peace' events including the other infamous event that took place at Tyne Cot on 24 August. I am surprised that this does not rate the same level of outrage from you. Presumably you were happy with that event.

"Have we learned nothing from the previous forum" Yes, we don't use names anymore.

Barrie Dobson

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Jacky Platteeuw

I think the 'discussion' about peace or memorial parc is superfluous. The important thing is that it happens and that at least those parts will be "saved from progress".

Jacky

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Paul Reed

I am afraid Barrie that I continue to fail to follow the line of your "arguments" or comments - on this, on Haig and on SAD. Trying to talk to you is like banging your head against a wall and I have much better things to do with my time.

Continue your ranting and raving, while the rest of us just get on with it...

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Guest jbd

This post had broken the user rules of this forum and has been deleted by the moderator.

Personal attacks are NOT allowed. Repeated misuse of this forum in this way WILL lead to a ban.

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Aurel Sercu

Barrie,

I am beginning to understand that we here in Ypres still have to learn that for some people "peace" is a dirty word ? I had always thought that it was something to strive for ...

And ... what are these initials being used all the time ? What is a "Personal Computer clique", and a "Personal Computer brigade" ? Since you are so much in favour of real names, not pseudonyms etc, sure it cannot stand for a name ?

Aurel Sercu

Ypres

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Paul Reed
This post had broken the user rules of this forum and has been deleted by the moderator.

Personal attacks are NOT allowed. Repeated misuse of this forum in this way WILL lead to a ban.

I really, really feel saddened reading this - I didn't see what was written, nor do I want to.

However, once again reasoned discussion seems impossible on this forum by some users - without resorting to personal abuse or attack.

It does no-ones case any good, nor does it give outsiders a good impression of those interested in WW1. :(

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ianw

To ease Aurel's confusion , perhaps we should explain the "P.C" means Political Correctness . It is much discussed in the English speaking world and means different things to different people. I presume Belgium must have the concept too.

Some people regarded the recent use of the Menin Gate for the indirect attack on Messrs Bush and Blair as taking advantage of the political correctness in relation to "peace" i.e you can propagate a certain debatable political view and protect yourself from any possible criticism by pulling the banner of "peace" around your shoulders. This was of course in addition to the grotesquely tacky nature of the event concerned.

Using the interior of CWGC cemeteries and memorials to stage events which amplify a pacifist message also offends many people who are certainly not anti-peace. They resent the intrusion and the presumption but political correctness tends to stifle their voice by portraying their concerns as those of war-mongers .

Barrie unfortunately expresses himself rather intemperately on too many occasions but I do not believe he would do other than welcome peace in the world .

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Aurel Sercu

Thanks, Ian, for clarifying this.

I did know that Barrie did not use the initials meaning Personal Computer (I should have added a ;) . And we too here in Belgium use the concept of Political Correctness. I just hadn't realized that this is what Barrie meant.

Maybe I am being a bit too edgy.

It's just that I am growing slightly irritable spotting some sort of trend once in a while presenting Ypres as a hotbed of a conspiracy against British memorials etc, using every little futility to discredit the City. And I am not saying that what happened at the Menin Gate was a futility. (Though it seems to me that some people overreacted. E.g. I was not there, but I don't believe it was a "rave" !) And please, Barry, forget about the threat of "renaming street names". In our Ypres municipal politics this idea is worth less than a footnote ... And hardly produced more than a smile.

Aurel Sercu

Ypres

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Jacky Platteeuw

Ian,

A big thanks for enlightning me on the meaning of the word PC. However I found the use of it extremely ambiguous especially of the fact that the same initials were used on the late WFA forum and that with a complete other meaning.

Jacky

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