De vijfdes in de Westhoek





Op vijf februari gingen onze vijfdes op excursie naar Ieper. Voor het vak Engels vroegen we hen een verslag te schrijven, en we geven u er een paar mee. De dames DeVreese en Vermeire zorgden voor de foto’s.

On the Fifth of February I went on a school excursion with the whole fifth year. But this wasn’t a normal one. This trip led us to some of the most famous monuments in Belgium. We went to Ypres. We saw the ‘Menin Gate’, where all the names of the 54,896 missing soldiers are carved and even Tyne Cot Cemetery, a cemetery where 11,957 bodies of brave soldiers are buried.

1) Tyne Cot Cemetery

This cemetery was built back in 1917 to bury the lives of almost 12,000 soldiers who died for ‘their beloved country’ named Great Britain. The idea of Tyne Cot Cemetery was to let us remember that the First World War was not a war like the ones we know today: in this war you had to use your courage and your bayonet more than your wish for something nice or enjoyable to pop up. In the end, your country didn’t matter at all.

The cemetery was designed by 2 gentlemen named Herbert Baker and John Truelove. Next to the 12,000 graves, there is the ‘Cross of Sacrifice’. The cross, created by Sir Reginald Blomfield, is a memorial cross made of limestone. At the back of the cemetery, we have the ‘Stone of Remembrance’, a memorial stone that can be found on hundreds of military cemeteries of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

While standing on British soldiers who died for our future, I was starting to get the shivers. Not because the temperature was below zero, but because I had no opportunity to say thank you to these men who had sacrificed their lives fighting in our little Belgium.

2) Menin Gate

The Menin Gate is probably one of the most prestigious commemorative monuments of the entire city of Ypres. The Menin Gate was officially inaugurated in 1927 and it was built on the site of the former passage in the city wall of the city of Menen. But in 1862, it was not this gate that was destroyed. It was a previous version of the gate we know today.

From the start the Menin Gate was meant as a sort of triumphal arch, which explains the Roman and Greek elements in the architecture. At the same time people thought of the idea of ​​building a giant memorial with the names of fallen ‘British Commonwealth soldiers’ on the walls. On these walls there are now just under 55,000 names of soldiers who were killed in action. All of them are soldiers who are still missing or who could not be identified.

Every day at 8 o’clock in the evening the members of the ‘Last Post Association’ play ‘The Last Post’ under the Menin Gate, in honour of the 89,853 soldiers who died in Ypres. This song is usually played by a quartet of clarion players.

I personally think that ‘The Last Post’ and the ‘Menin Gate’ both have something emotionally poignant. When you hear the song being played by those men, you automatically begin to think of fragments of the First World War: what life looked like behind the trenches and how families would get a letter in which they read that one of their boys had given his life for  England.

Nathan Wostyn (5 Latijn-Moderne Talen)


Ook Loubna Buimejene uit 5 Moderne Talen – Wetenschappen schreef een mooi verslag.

On February 5th, 2019 we went on an outing to Ypres. The city is known for the First World War when it was surrounded by German troops. The troops did not succeed in conquering Ypres. We visited various sites. Each site has its own story. The visit was meaningful because it is hard to just imagine how the World War must have been, you have to visit the various sites to feel it. Learning in school about the World War or seeing the pictures of the sites on the internet does not justify how horrific the World War actually was.

The Passchendaele War Memorial Museum

Passchendaele is a village that got totally destroyed during the First World War. It is an international symbol for violence during the war. A lot of soldiers lost their lives for hardly any territory gain.

The Passchendaele War Memorial Museum is located in Zonnebeke. The museum is devoted to the soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Passchendaele, also named the third battle of Ypres in 1917. This major battle caused 450 000 people to lose their lives for only eight kilometres gain of ground. The museum has a lot of historic objects, authentic letters and video fragments. The way the museum is set up is interesting for young and old. The museum is very interactive which helps to imagine how battlefields must have been. They reconstructed the dug-out where we could walk through. You could see the communication center, the first aid post, the headquarters and the beds for soldiers. They also imitated the trenches.

Tyne Cot

The Tyne Cot Cemetery is a British military cemetery where the soldiers who were killed during the first world war are buried. The cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It has a surface of 34,941 m². Yearly there are over a hundred thousand visitors. The cemetery is designed by Herbert Baker and John Truelove. It was established in October 1917. From 1919-1921 brought the Exhumation Companies, from the surrounding  There are 11,965 people buried, of which 8,369 are unnamed and 101 unknown. The youngest soldiers (Alexander Barter and Ernest J. Woodroffe) buried are 17 years old. The other soldiers whose bodies could not be found are honoured on the Menin Gate, the names of the soldiers are engraved there.


Retrieved from on February 13th.

Retrieved from February 13th.

Retrieved from on February 13th.

Retrieved from on February 13th.

Retrieved from on February 13th.

Alle foto’s kan u hier bekijken.

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