The Ypres Salient

Our main task was to find the 49th (West Riding) Division Memorial. This is the remains of a second line of defines trenches and a dressing station of 1916/17. This was where the local battalions, such as 1/4 KOYLI, the Bradford Pals and others from West and South Yorkshire were amalgamated in 1915 to form a fighting division to protect the Ypres-Yser Canal which was the link to the North Sea. Essentially 2 years of fighting and thousands of deaths led to a capture of a 100 yards of land.





Across the canal is the Yorkshire Trench and Dugout system of 1915-17. It is in an industrial area today, discovered by accident in 1992 and now preserved, but was the first line of defence for the 49th Division.



We went exploring other battlefields but by the end of the day we were at the Menin Gate at Ypres for the daily service of the Last Post at 8:00 p.m. Hundreds of people stood in silence as the Post was played and wreaths were laid in memory of the thousands lost in the battles for the Ypres Salient.




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