In Flanders Fields – World War 1 facts

flanders fields poppy

In Flanders Fields The poppies blow,

Flanders Fields is near where the many battles of Ypres were fought.

It was said poppies were one of the first flowers to grow after a battle. The freshly turned mud and ground were extremely good for the plants.

Between the Crosses, row on row, that mark our place;

This is a reference to the cross of sacrifice that was used en-masse to mark soldiers graves during the First World War.

and in the sky the lark still bravely singing fly, scarce heard amid the guns below.

Most Artillery was transported by horses and had a six-man crew. The largest shell fired in the war weighed over 3,000 pounds.

We are the dead. short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.

More than 66,000 Canadians were killed in the First World War. Over 172,000 were injured. 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served during the conflict.

Loved and were loved, and now we lie, in Flanders Fields.

Love in the First World War found an estimated 25,000 Canadians marrying British women. In 1919 the Canadian government offered to bring all dependants of Canadian serviceman to Canada.

Take up the quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hand we throw

The quarrel was with the Axis powers, mainly Germany, Turkey and Austria-Hungary. They lost an estimated 4 million men during the war.

The torch; be yours, to hold it high,

Torches are a symbol of fear, peace, war and intimidation throughout the years. They were commonly used during the First World War to light trenches in the evening.

If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.

It is said Colonel John McCrea wrote In Flanders Fields while looking over the grave of a close friend between waves of wounded. He had originally planned to throw it away.