Flanders & the Somme 1999

A tour of Flanders and the Somme in Nov .1999 by 12 people from Bandon they were Con Ahern, Jerry Crowley, Ann O’Conner Crowley, George Duke, Albert Duke, Peggie Ellis, Barry Ellis, Philip Fullam, Tom & Olive Fullam, Marion Gandy, Ann Madden of which 7 are members of the Bandon War Memorial Committee.

     The group laid a wreath at the Munster Memorial at the rear of the church in Ypres prior to having the honour of leading the Poppy Day Parade to the Menen Gate ceremonies on the morning of 11th Nov. They laid wreaths on behalf of the Munster Fusiliers, Dublin Fusiliers and one for the Bandon War Mem. Comm.

    In the afternoon a visit was taken to the Peace Park at Messines where wreaths were laid at the Bandon Celtic Cross, which is enclosed by a ring or fairy fort, an old Irish rock formation and the Munster and Dublin Fusiliers stones in the park.

    On that trip they stayed in the Hotel Belfort in Poperinge as all the hotels and guesthouses are booked out for the best part of a year in Ypres [Ieper], which is the favoured place to make your base camp. The Hotel Ariane in Ieper is recommended.

        Other places of interest that were taken in on the tour were The Execution Post in the courtyard of the Town Hall in Poperinge, Talbot House also there, the German Cemetary at Langemark where a wreath was laid, Hodge Crater Museum, Sanctury Wood Museum and Trench system still there. Down the road is Sanctury Wood Cemetary where a granduncle of Philip Fullam and our present P.R.O. Margaret Desmond is buried. Also White House Cemetery where their grandfather is buried. Tyne Cot is another large cemetery. George Duke our Hon. President also on the tour visited Dud’s Corner Cemetery where his uncle’s name is inscribed on a plaque in the wall who has no known grave. A memorial to Major Willie Redmond is erected at Locre Hospice. Sergeant James Ellis is buried in Mazingrabe Communal Cemetery Extension uncle to Barry, Peggie and Marion on the tour. Also at the Somme, Thiepval Memorial, where Con Ahern’s father fought at the Battle of Festubert, Kemmel Chateau Cemetery is where the youngest man from Bandon to killed in W.W.1. Pte John O’Donough is buried. Vlamerting Mil. Cemetary is the resting place of Gunner L. Troy, Uncle of Ann Williams nee Downey. 2/ Lt. Samual Trinder an uncle of Bandon man Stanley Bolster is buried in Bandholk New Mil. Cemetary. Jerry Crowley laid a wreath on the grave of Capt.R.W. Sutton Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Auchonvillers Mil. Cemetery Wreaths were laid by George Duke at the Ulster Tower, Ann Madden at Thiepval and Barry Ellis at his uncle’s in Mazingarbe. On the 14th Nov., the tour had a special mass in the Cathedral in Poperinge, here on the alter Philip Fullam read out the names of all the men from Bandon who died in the First World War.

         The other places of interest are, In Flanders Fields Museum, in the Cloth Hall in Ieper, St George’s Memorial Church there you can see a stained glass window to the South Irish Horse Regt. St Martin‘s Cathedral Ypres, at the side of which is the Munster Memorial erected by the people of Munster and Cork its capitol city. The Shell Hole in Ypres is where you may purchase books, maps, and collectables from W.W.1. (Click here fer printable version)

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