"the enemy line must be broken through in Flanders"

By World War I, the old County of Flanders no longer existed.  The name was used to refer to those parts of northern France and Western Belgium in which the great battles of Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Somme were fought.


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Flanders Fields
Creative Commons AttributionFlanders Fields - Credit: Tijl Vercaemer
In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, 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.