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Remembered Today:

Ypres


j.r.f
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In just a few hours I shall be starting my journey to Ypers.I am going with the Devon Fire and Rescue Service Bag Pipe Band.Friday evening we will be under the MENIN GATE And again on saturday. Also on saturday we shall be in the Cathedral for the memorial concert.If I am lucky,I shall be able to place my tribute wreath,to my great uncle REGINALD FLOOK,with the other wreaths under the GATE.If you read this and are there over the next couple of days.If you see me,a fat man.65,grey hair,walks with a stick and talks with a broad BRISTOL accent.Then PLEASE make yourself known to me .I would love to talk with you.

CHEERS.

JOHN :D:D

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John,

wishing you a memorable trip, please update us with your travels when you return.

Regards and best wishes,

Scottie.

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Have a wonderful time - i am sure you will find the whole experience very moving. I cannot make it this year but was there last year. The concert in the Cathedral was well worth attending. Wasn't it the Devon band there last year as well?

stevem

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If you see me,a fat man.65,grey hair,walks with a stick and talks with a broad BRISTOL accent. (...)

CHEERS.

JOHN

OK, John,

If you see a 61-year-old, greyish, waving with an YPRES accent, it'll be me. ;)

The waving 62-year-old will be Jacky P.

You can't miss him.

He waves with a louder accent. :D

Aurel

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John - I am sure you will have a great time. Please seek out Jacky P and Aurel at the Menin Gate. They are both top blokes to whom we owe a lot of thanks and respect.

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Ian,

You'll make Jacky blush ! ;)

John,

See you at the Menin Gate or after the Cathedral Concert.

Is a Bristol accent something very or only a little close to the Queen's English ? B)

Aurel

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AGAIN it cries out for a GWF badge,so anyone who is a member can be recognised,with out being embarassed to ask"are you so and so".

ie please seek out JACKY P or AUREL

I really really cannot see why there isnt a little lapel badge or is it just me then??????????????,I have been in various situations where I have been to shy to say anything,it is also another way in which we can donate to the forum,

perplexed BIFFO

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AGAIN it cries out for a GWF badge,so anyone who is a member can be recognised,with out being embarassed to ask"are you so and so".

ie please seek out JACKY P or AUREL

I really really cannot see why there isnt a little lapel badge or is it just me then??????????????,I have been in various situations where I have been to shy to say anything,it is also another way in which we can donate to the forum,

perplexed BIFFO

:( Sorry we couldn't be there, have a good one and hope you meet up with a few other forum members,

I know that Russell is at Kemmel

Mick and Tina

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Maybe we need a small sign for a specific corner of the Menin Gate's arch that says "Pals stand here" ... and when we visit, we just pause there and look furtively around for a moment ....

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I refuse to look furtively!

LOL

Bruce

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I am going with the Devon Fire and Rescue Service Bag Pipe Band

I saw your go bye (the bands), I was there on both days, layed poppies on the friday night service but on the Saturday we watch from the street leading to the Gate too crowded at Gate itself. Sadly I missed the concert :(

Annette

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Annette,

I did not miss the concert, but no matter how hard I tried to find John afterwards (only knowing : 65, grey, walking stick, broad Bristol accent, and never having seen him before), I missed him. Even a run from the side entrance to the main entrance of the cathedral (where I was told he probably was) did not help ... :(

Aurel

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Aurel badge BIG BADGE would have helped wfa pin not as good as a BIG QWF BADGE

think im on a looser gonna give it up

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Biffo,

No need to feel like a loser. Of course you're right.

The thing is that I am not much of a badge wearer ... :(

But maybe on such occasion...

Aurel

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Was there but mised you all except Jackie! Did go and say thanks to him on Thursday night, did not go Friday as Seb doen't like it too crowded and he was ill Saturday so didn't even get to see the march past or the poppy parade! Back next year as usual, booked hotel already.

Mandy

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PALS

I am back.What an experience.This was the third time.It gets better and better.Somebody did shout John,under the gate,on the 11th just had time to wave back.Someone else was looking for me in the Cathedral,but,again we missed.I am so sorry to have missed you,but you will now know that we are ALL PALLS in Ypres.GOD BLESS YOU.I am still only just walking wounded but promise to try to give an account when a little more recovered.

CHEERS>

JOHN.

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I was at the Menin Gate on Friday - I did the exhortations.

Of course, if I had a GWF badge you would have known who I was.

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what was that again squirrel,A GWF BADGE YOU SAY,what a bloody good idea whish I could buy one somewhere from some one ,so I could donate cash to a very worthy cause

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I too spent saturday in Ypres this being my first visit and had hoped somehow to possibly meet other forum members. I looked for people with square eyes, working on the basis we probably all spend too long on our computers but couldn't actually see anyone that fitted the bill.... :rolleyes:

I obviously saw the firebrigade band but of course didn't know it contained a member. Apologies therefore John. So there is a need for members to be able to recognise each other at a glance. Perhaps a secret sign. Two poppies at 180 degrees to each other perhaps .....

I have mixed feelings about the visit having arrived by coach at about 10.20am when of course the area around the Menin Gate was already many rows deep with people. So apart from the parade from the square to the Gate the rest was totally missed. Was this a one off or is this typical of remembrance weekend? However for the evening I made sure I could see at least some of the ceremony by being there well in advance. Can anyone tell me the name of the lament the lone piper played after the Last Post?

Obviously I can see why the ceremony is held in the Gate but in some ways there is an arguement for perhaps part of it being held in the square so that more people can enjoy it.

In between I spent the day on my first visit to a military cemetery. The coach took us to Essex Farm, Langmark, Tyne Cot, Hill 60, Hill 62 and Sanctuary Wood. Again a question for those of you familiar with these cemeteries. At Langmark there is a modern cast bronze plaque in memory of two UK soldiers on one of the upright pillars, what is the story here? Hill 60 I found sureal with the remnants of a battlefield all these years on just on peoples door steps.

All in all it was a very long and tiring day but one I am very glad I had the oppotunity to take. The whole experience made me reflect upon days gone by and what it must have been like for those on both sides of the wire. Certainly I look forward to doing it again but just wish they had had Armistice in June when it would have been a bit warmer!!

John Welsh

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PALS

This is my story of my pilgrimage to YPERS.You will know,from this thread,that I started last thursday evening.It was just after 7:30 in the evening,and as I went out the door I half caught the Radio 4 anouncer saying that parliament had posthumasly pardoned ,at least some,if not all,of the SHOT AT DAWN soldiers.The importance of this was soon lost to me as we could not get the car to start.After a frantic,heart stopping couple of minutes,it burst into life and we were on our way.

WE were all to meet at THE DEVON FIRE AND RESCUE HEADQUARTERS just outside of Exeter.So it was down the motorway and soon we arrived.As usual we were early.So down to the GEORGE and DRAGON for a swift pint or two.Here we met the first of our traveling companions,remembered from last year.And did indeed down a few pints.Then back to headquarters and the busy rush of gettin our gear onboard and renewing friendships from last year and meeting new ones.Then that journey from EXETER to DOVER.I am no0w sure this is the longest road in the British Isles.Stop,just outside of dover to pick up pipers from TYNE & WEAR and from STOKE.Then that ,slight aprehension as we board the boat.They did not even want to look at our passports.Bit disapointing.Then its streatch our leg and find a seat,perhaps to snatch a little sleep.That sleep nevercomes.We are back on the bus heading through the night.

Its getting light now and I start to see our destination on the road signs KORTRIJK.It sends the shiver through my bones.

By this time we are all ,tired out,no I mean knackered.Get our gear,find our key find our room.Then lay on the bed,still with our cloths on and sleep.Next its out to the coaches,there are over a hundred of us,and on to LEPER,Ypers,.On arrival at the Fire Station there is a bussel as people put on uniforms and pipers try to fade ito coners to tune up themselves and their pipes.

Then its FALL_IN and the mass of individuals becomes a symbiotic organism,not one single individual but a finly tuned,cohesive mass.And so with that SCOTISH swirl we step out into the town.The,empty streets gradually fill up with people and we arrive infront of the cathedral.As it were ,ready for the off.

IF i MAY i SHALL STOP HERE FOR NOW AND PICK UP WITH MY STORY IN THE MORNING.

GOODNIGHT.

JOHN.

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The coach took us to Essex Farm, Langmark, Tyne Cot, Hill 60, Hill 62 and Sanctuary Wood.

Our paths must have crossed at some point John W, as my little party visited Hill 62, Hill 60 & Essex Farm as well on the saturday. We left Ypres after the 2 mins silence because we could not hear the service from where we were, so we went to Hill 62 and Sanctuary Wood there were only a few people there when we got there but just before we left three buses loads turned, how they all got through I do not know, there was no room to sing a cat :lol: , we then went to a much quieter Hill 60.

So there is a need for members to be able to recognise each other at a glance
We should have all wore pink like some members have to ID each other.

Annette

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I was there! What an experience, i will never forget it. The ceremony on Saturday evening was incredible. When the two violinists played Danny Boy and people started humming. . (phew).

I managed to get a space with my dad who was with me on the left of the gate as you go in from Ypres. I took lots of photos if anyone would like to see them and possibly themselves please feel free to visit my site. The photos of the ceremony are at the end of the images.

www.andrewdavid.info/ypres

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