50,000 purple flowers bloom in Flanders for remembrance and peace

50,000 purple flowers bloom in Flanders for remembrance and peace
Edited by Travel Weekly


    A purple carpet of 50,000 allium flowers is blooming across the battlefields of Flanders Fields, including key Australian, Commonwealth, French, Belgium, German and memorial sites of all nationalities, as a symbol of international unity.

    The purple flowers can be seen from Tyne Cot Cemetery – the largest Commonwealth war cemetery of the Western Front with near 12,000 graves, including 1369 Australians – to Langemark’s German Military Cemetery.

    They are also visible from the Ossuaire mass grave in Kemmel where the bodies of more than 5000 French soldiers lay, to the Belgium Yser Memorial in Nieuwpoort, and more – unifying the hundreds of cemeteries and memorials across Flanders.

    “More than 100 nations worldwide were involved in World War I, and those who gave their lives from all countries are remembered on the Western Front,” Australian battlefield historian Mat McLachlan said.

    “Counted among the Commonwealth forces were Indian, the West Indies, Canada, South Africa as well as Australia, New Zealand and the British. Looking at the Allies, nations included France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Portugal, Montenegro, Rhodesia, Romania, and then the United States. Many other nations supported the Allies, including the Chinese Labour Corps, together with other African, European and South American countries.

    Lyssenhoek Military Cemetery Poperinge. Image © 2024 Jan D’Hondt Ateljé.

    “The Great War was truly a world war, and it is incredibly important to remember the international impact this had, and that this war was fought on the frontlines – by the armed forces on land, sea and in the air, as well as by medics and nurses, labourers, communications service people, cooks and more, as well as by those at home – involved in industry supporting the war effort, and fighting to keep families, businesses and communities operating.”

    Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours is a partner of VISITFLANDERS, collaborating with this significant Australian battlefield region to highlight what travellers can see and do today when visiting Flanders.

    Feature image: Essex Farm Cemetery – where John McCrae penned In Flanders Fields. Image© 2024 Jan D’Hondt Ateljé.

    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

    Flanders Fields

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