Day 2 - Wow. What an amazing day. We began the day at what used to be the largest field hospital behind the lines near Ypres. Although 10 miles behind the lines, the wounded would reach the hospital within 24 hours, where they were treated for their injuries. The direct rail link to the north coast meant that those soldiers who were unable to return to battle were transported home easily, to convalece in the UK. Those who were unable to be saved were buried in the adjacent cemetery. In Lissenthoek cemetery, we learned the life stories of a number of the dead, and found the grave site of the highest ranking Canadian soldier, Major General Malcolm Mercer of the Queens Own Rilfes, Canada, to be killed.
In the afternoon, we visited three Memorial Museum Passchendaele. We were able to browse freely through the museum and came to understand a great deal about technology advancements throughout the war..... advancement in chemical weapon attack and defence, advancement in medicine and changes in the roles of women, just to name a few. We also got to understand how the war was played out underground, in bunkers, tunnel and trenches. It was really enlightening to see the differences between the German and Allied defences.
The evening ended with a visit to the Menin Gate, a monument to the missing. Each evening The Last Post is played and wreaths are laid. I was very proud to watch Anna and Alex lay a wreath in remembrance of all of the Hugh Sexey soldiers lost in battle during WWI. We ended the evening by locating the name of Private Francis Tucker, of Providence House, Wedmore and the North Somerset Yeomany on the 5th panel, commemorating his death at Ypres on 17 November, 1917