Membership of the THE YPRES TIMES 139 postcards, pencil, pull-through and a Japanese mouth organ, and in one grubby cavity I investigated, I lit the stump of a guttered candle in a cut-open bully tin still nailed securely to a wall, its meagre light disclosing the plaster walls covered with names, numbers and their writers' regiments, and a number of examples of the art of sculpture in the form of cap badges cut into the surface of the soft plaster, all bearing dates between 1915 and 1917. Had I been a man of wealth I should have felt disposed to have had those walls removed intact and brought to a place of safety in England, after the manner of American millionaires who buy up old mansions and transport them piecemeal over the Atlantic. The Ramparts of Ypres are sealed to all comers. At one point a flight of slimy stone steps leading downwards into the gloomy depths of the interior invited investigation, but the sunlight outside enhanced the forbidding-looking nature of the blackness and grime inside to such an extent that further penetration seemed none too pleasantso I passed on. An air of inexplicable sadness seemed to pervade the place as I rested, one fine summer's evening, at the side of the Yperlee, contemplating in retrospect the aspect of that selfsame place ten years before. Then, scenes of feverish animation a constant passing to and fro along the mile-long duckboard promenade of khaki- clad figures—from brigadiers to privates, signallers and stretcher bearers, M.Os. and machine gunners, infantrymen, trench mortaring and O. Pipping artillery men, sappers, runners and innumerable other representatives of the heterogeneous collection of mankind entrusted with the job of holding, inviolate, their portion of the left-hand bastion of the British line, the paraphernalia of war littering the landscape, the torn tree-stumps everywhere, and, above all, the seldom-ceasing growl of gunfire. Nownature's varied greenery mercifully throwing a mantle over the scars of battle, wild flowers in profusion, the stunted willows taking on a new lease of life not a sound except the low murmur of the soft evening breeze gently swaying the long rushes which fill the canal, and the faint tolling of a deep-toned bell-somewhere back in reborn Ypres. The setting sun sheds its last golden rays over the peaceful Flemish country side, glinting beautifully on the cross of sacrifice away over in Bard Cottage cemetery, and seemingly bestowing a last lingering caress along the long serried ranks of white headstones. E. F. Williams. This is open to all who served in the Salient, and to all those whose relatives or friends died there, in order that they may have a record of that service for themselves and their descendants, and belong to the comradeship of men and women who understand and remember all that Ypres meant in suffering and endurance. League. Those who have neither fought in the Salient nor lost relatives there, but who are in sympathy with the objects of the Ypres League, are admitted to its fellowship, but are not given scroll certificates. Do not let the fact of your not having served in the Salient deter you from joining the Ypres Life membership, £2 10s. Annual members, 5s. There is also a Junior Division to which children of those who served in the Salient, also those who sympathize with our objects, have the right to belong. Annual subscription is. up to the age of 18, after which they can become ordinary members of the League.


The Ypres Times (1921-1936) | 1929 | | pagina 13