History - On This Day - 30 November 1872 - John McCrae creator of the poem In Flanders Fields

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.

John McCrae - Source picture: Wikipedia


On 30 November 1872, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was born in 
Ontario, Canada.

During the Second Boer War (1899 - 1902), which was fought in South-Africa,
John McCrae served in the artillery. 

When Britain  declared war on Germany, at the beginning of World War I, 
Canada, a dominion in the British Empire, was also at war.

McCrae was appointed as medical officer and after the Second Battle of Ypres
he treated the wounded soldiers.

John McCrae memorial in Boezinge near Ypres, Belgium


On 3 May 1915 he wrote the most famous poem of World War I:
In Flanders Fields for a friend who died. 

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

On 28 January 1918, John McCrae, still commanding a Canadian General Hospital
in Boulogne, died of pneumonia. He was 45 years old. 

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.

John McCrae Memorial Boezinge - Ypres - Belgium 



Legacy

The legacy of John McCrae was and still is huge:

In the Cloth Hall in Ypres, Belgium there is a permanent museum about World War I,
called: In Flanders Fields.

In Guelph, Ontario, Canada, his birth house is transformed in the McCrae house,

In Boezinge, near Ypres there is an in Flanders Fields memorial to honour
John McCrae (I had the chance to visit this memorial during the summer of 2017)
Post a Comment