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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

CANVAS broadcast tonight

Bert Heyvaert

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Tonight, Belgian Television (CANVAS) is broadcasting the documentary 'Holy Ground': The Ieper of the British. Probably most participants of this forum will not be able to see this programn. Sadly enough BBC has not shown any interest so far in buying the programn, but the documentary makers are working on it. To all who can see the programn, please do so, it will be worth it.

Here's the documentary review:

"In the shadows of the Great War is a new series of the CANVAS-programn 'Histories', in which less known aspects of the Great War are focuesd upon. The series starts with a documentary from Tim Trachet and Servaas Heirman about British soldiers, who settled in the Ypres region after the war and started a new life there.

For the British, Ypres was 'Holy Ground'. More than 200.000 soldiers of the British Empire were killed there. In 'Flanders Fields' more than 100 cemeteries and monuments were constructed. Many veteransreturned to Ypres after 1918 to work on these cemeteries of their fallen comrads.Others found a job as battlefield guide or opened a bussinnes in war souvenirs. A real British colony was born in Ypres, with their own clubs, sport societies, an anglican church and even a school. After the Germans invaded Belgium in 1940, most Britons fled to their motherland. Only a small part of them returned.

The makers of the documentary managed to interview some of these men and women. One of them was recruited by the SOE because of her language knowledge and dropped into occupied Belgium to bring Belgian Prince Charles to London. An other Briton, born in Ypres, made his career as chief of the Magnum foto-agency in Paris. 'Histories' also managed to find quite a lot of archive-footage, including of the British school in Ypres.

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It sounds a fascinating programme, Bert, and I would love to see it, even though I woundn't understand all the commentary! Let's hope that the BBC has someone who can take in interest in getting it so that it can be screened in the UK, too.

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Just saw the programme and it was very interesting. I just hope that the B.B.C. will decide to broadcast it, because I think that a lot of people on this forum would enjoy it.

Walter Kortooms

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