Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France

Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery

The Great World War /1914-1918/ was believed by many people to be “The War to End All Wars”. Thousands of families around the world were affected by the tragedy, losing husbands, sons and relatives. The 1914-1918 battlefields of French Flanders are located in an area of Northern France, historically called the provinces of Flanders and the County of Artois. The region was the most badly damaged of all the areas in France on the Western Front by the four-years’ warfare.

Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France Visitors to the battlefields of French Flanders and Artois will find several small museums, mostly privately owned, monuments and over 350 cemeteries for the thousands of Allied and German casualties who died.

One of the memorials is called Vis-En-Artois Memorial, located on the road from Arras to Cambrai, France.
The Vis-en-Artois Memorial commemorates 9847 Allied officers and men who were killed in the period from 8th of August 1918 to 11 November 1918 and who have no known grave. The battle period is known by the Allies as the “Advance to Victory”. Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France This was a series of battles fought in Picardy and Artois during the last months of the war, when the Allied Forces pushed the German Army successfully eastwards as far as Mons over the Belgian border.

Vis-en-Artois Memorial was designed by J R Truelove, a former captain in the London Regiment. The sculptures were designed by an architect called Ernest Gillick and done by a British sculptor.

Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France
Few words about poppy, which is internationally recognized symbol of Remembrance.
The field poppy is an annual plant which flowers each year between about May and August. Its seeds are spread by the wind and can lie dormant in the ground for a long time. If the ground is disturbed from the early spring the seeds will germinate and the poppy flowers will grow.
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France This is what happened in parts of the front lines in Belgium and France. Once the ground was disturbed by the fighting, the poppy seeds lying in the ground began to germinate and grow during the warm weather in the spring and summer months of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918.

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae in May 1915:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.
Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France

World War I Memorials are well known and much visited. If you have opportunity to visit some of them, do it, you will not be sorry.

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Map of Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France

Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France

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