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Poelcapelle Johan, his plane and tank - amazing innovations !


JOSTURM
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Earlier this week, I visited Varlet Farm in Poelcapelle with my son and friends, and after visits to craters, bunkers, trench lines, memorials, cemeteries, etc - without doubt, the highlight of the three day trip was meeting Johan, a passionate engineer, teacher and Poelcapelle native. As a member of the Guynemer committee, Johan has built a biplane with help from many quarters, in honour of the French aviation ace whose plane was shot down over the village and where there is a memorial. The biplane is safely housed and has been built to exhibit rather than fly.

Around the corner is Johan's latest project, a working, mobile, replica British WW1 tank housed again in a garage courtesy of another local, George.

Having seen both of these extremely innovative engineering projects in process, I am surprised there is not more talk about them in the UK in relation to the commemoration of the centenary, especially from the perspective of educating our younger people about the twin aspects of the terrible waste and endured conditions of war, and the rapid technological development of engineering during the conflict.

Johan's story would make a great casec study article for an interested BBC Journalist I would guess.

Thanks a million, Johan !

(Johan is of course on this Forum).

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The aircraft sounds interesting.......any photos?

Meanwhile

8113582826_4310750f94_c.jpg

A 1:48 scale model of the aircraft flown by the French Ace Georges Guynemer who scored 54 victories until he was shot down and killed over the Ypres Salient, Belgium in 1917. The Stork was the emblem of Escadrille N.3 (Cigognes),

Norman

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I was in Poecapelle at the start of October at Johan's invitation and got to see his replica tank move under its own steam. We (the RTR) are hoping that it will be able to take part in a number of our 100th anniversary commemorations and if it does I am sure it will get plenty of publicity. As for the wider aspect of acknowledging and commemorating the development of the tank, I know that the Tank Museum has plans in place for 2016.

Here is a link to Johan's thread on the tank (Damon II): http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=197198&hl=

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I have also been informed by Royal Tank Regiment RHQ that the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient also situated within the village will feature in the 100 year commemorations. This being the case, not only will be the Poelkapelle tank story but the entire Ypres Salient tank action story be commemorated.

This of course being very important to the RTR today and the TMYS.

Gareth, if we had known you were visiting we could have offered you TMYS hospitality also but never mind, we do have RTRA & other RTR members attending the forthcoming TMYS Standard handover ceremony in November, Availability permitting, our Honorary President could even attend. We do live in hope!

And here is a link to the TMYS web site also: http://tankmemorial.vpweb.co.uk/?prefix=www

Fear Naught

Chris.

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Johann's tank will be featuring in a talk I am giving in Kenilworth this month about Dudley White a local resident who was a gunner in the tank Damon II and was killed in October 1917 in Poelcapelle. You can already see his story at www.susantall.co.uk in the Dudley White section.

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Hi Susan. You will be pleased to know Dudley is commemorated by the TMYS. His name appears not only in the memorial register book, the TMYS Garden of Remembrance but also within the TMYS legacy CD. He and the full Ypres Salient tank crewmen who fought and fell are not forgotten. Lest We Forget.

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Excellent stuff. I'm so glad that Johan is getting some support from the Tank fraternity.

The amount of effort he's put into both of these projects, he deserves somec recognition and publicity.

Josturm

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks Peter,

it was a pleasure for me showing such interested people around.

I was not exactly building that plane all by myself, to the contrary. Pol Lietaert and Geert Woussens were the two main builders and some other collegues or my school in Ypres : VTI Ieper .

I turned out to be afterwards a bit the projectpromotor and in the end the plane ended up in Poelkapelle, right next to the Guynemermonument unexpectedly.

The tank is something else, build and sponsored by a few locals and people of the Salient as a touristical project to put Poelkapelle again a bit on the map of British tourists as it was in the 30's with a tank on our marketplace where now the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient is located. I suggested the place and was involved in erecting it.

We are making the tank self-moving and strong enough to cross a real trench and to be able to put to use the unditching beam. That way it should be possible to place it again on our marketplace. Commemorating can be done in different ways and as an engineer, more technically inclined, I do it my way.

Photo's of the plane can be found googling for "Morane Saulnier Parasol L VTI Ieper" in the images and also on youtube for a airplane pulling and taxxiing on it's propellor.

Tankwork can be followed on http://www.p1917a.blogspot.com and PondFarmfriend Stijn Butaye (http://www.depondfarm.be/en), one of my former students made also a facebookpage for it : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tank-Poelkapelle/424031071039385 . He's running in the same style his own farmmuseum and is an excellent addition to a visit to Poelkapelle. You shouls make appointments with him, visits being free. He has found real tankpieces last year on their farm.

You can always try to make an appointment with me to visit Poelkapelle for free if my time allows. That can be just the tank and/or plane but also the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient who is being rebuilt since yesterday. I never fail passing it to show it and explaining. If you have more time I can show you more things on walking distance for about 2hrs.


Edited by JVB
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And likewise as founder of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient and living in Ypres today, I will be delighted to meet up with any visitor who may wish to visit the memorial.

As Johan confirms, the TMYS has now been fully rebuilt as a memorial structure since being destroyed in a road traffic collision. All that remains now is for the tank armoured plate and text plates to be fitted.

Full details concerning the journey and key details of TMYS may be found on the memorial's dedicated web site here:

http://tankmemorial.vpweb.co.uk/?alt_id=88136-42511-5B3&ts=1375264829252&prefix=www

The web site also includes details of the official 2014 TMYS annual ceremony.

Reconstruction images are revealed plus more within the FotTMYS facebook page. Link may be found in my signature block.

If any pals are in Ypres this weekend, Royal Tank Regiment members, RTRA Branch members along with the Friends of the TMYS and invited guests will witness the dedication of the new TMYS Standard in St George's Memorial Church. This will conclude with an inclusion within the 8pm Last Post Ceremony. All are very much welcome to attend the Last Post ceremony of course!

Fear Naught

Chris Lock

Founder: TMYS

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And likewise as founder of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient and living in Ypres today, I will be delighted to meet up with any visitor who may wish to visit the memorial.

As Johan confirms, the TMYS has now been fully rebuilt as a memorial structure since being destroyed in a road traffic collision. All that remains now is for the tank armoured plate and text plates to be fitted.

Full details concerning the journey and key details of TMYS may be found on the memorial's dedicated web site here:

http://tankmemorial.vpweb.co.uk/?alt_id=88136-42511-5B3&ts=1375264829252&prefix=www

The web site also includes details of the official 2014 TMYS annual ceremony.

Reconstruction images are revealed plus more within the FotTMYS facebook page. Link may be found in my signature block.

If any pals are in Ypres this weekend, Royal Tank Regiment members, RTRA Branch members along with the Friends of the TMYS and invited guests will witness the dedication of the new TMYS Standard in St George's Memorial Church. This will conclude with an inclusion within the 8pm Last Post Ceremony. All are very much welcome to attend the Last Post ceremony of course!

Fear Naught

Chris Lock

Founder: TMYS

Great news that the memorial is now rebuilt.

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Indeed Gareth and thank you for your support!

Please accept my belated Cambrai salutations and I do hope your gunfire tasted better than mine. I must have a word with Milena!! :w00t:

Fear naught

Chris

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