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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Condemned Cell in Pops

Phill Jones

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I have just returned from Ypres , and after visiting the Condemned Cell in Pops , i noticed the strange almost Bird type feet placed into the Stone Floor tiles that lead from the Cell to the Courtyard , Please can anyone tell me what these are or what do they represent , do they have any connection to the Condemned Soldier ?


TIA Phill Jones 


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De executiepaal is verplaatst en daardoor duidelijk zichtbaar vanuit de dodencel. Een zitbank en een wand - beiden in beton - omsluiten de paal en verhogen de grauwe intimiteit van deze executieplaats. Betonklinkers worden vervangen door kasseien, met hier en daar de afdruk van een vogelpootje. Het is een referentie naar de breekbaarheid van de mens.


[....] Concrete stones were replaced by cobblestones, with here and there the footprint of a bird. It's a reference to the fragility of the human.

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Hi JWK , 


Thank you very much this makes sense with the nature of the site in question 


Rgs Phill

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Watched a Timeline documentary on YouTube tonight about the men who were shot at dawn.  I must say that some of the “crimes” and the “evidence” if such it can be called seems a bit sketchy in many cases. It must be quite an old program as the majority were pardoned relatively recently.


It seems that Poperinge saw a larger than average number of these incidents.



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Sixteen in Pop' compares with 11, I believe in Mazingarbe, at the abattoir?  There is almost excellent book, showing the scenes of executions (in 2014, iirc) by Charlotte Dewe Matthews, I believe?  Moving and not ghoulish.

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To be honest, I don’t particularly want to read any more about it. One can’t change history and many of the men were unjustly executed. A French Canadian who was married to a woman from the town where I grew up in Scotland was one of them. The family was contacted some years ago regarding a book that was being written on the subject and it was the first they had heard of it.  Their parents hadn’t mentioned it.  All very sad.


Hazel  C.

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