Since today is Remembrance Day ...
These were some photos I took during Rowan's and my trip to Belgium and France this past August. We spent a few days in Iepers touring the battlefield and going to the war museum.
The first is of Menen Gate in Ieper where 50,000 fallen soldiers are listed on the walls of the arch and remembered. These were the soldiers whose bodies could not be found.
The second is a list of names from one of the Cyclist Battalions on Menen Gate.
The third is another list of names at one of the largest cemeteries in the area. These names are also listed on a memorial because their bodies could not be found.
What did the Cyclist Battalions do during the First World War?
These sites explain:
"Bicycles were useful for transporting men and light equipment over large distances in much less time than it would take troops on foot – despite often being hampered by the terrain and muddy conditions, they could easily cover 60 kilometres a day. Cyclists also performed tasks such as traffic control, tree felling, cable laying, trench repairs and reconnaissance."
"On 20 September 1914 1st Canadian Division Cyclist Company was formed by the Corp of Guides. Their role was intelligence gathering, topography interpretation, signalling, tactics and usage of the light machine *** (Lewis ***). Later, traffic control, despatch riders, guards for prisoners of war, trench guides, listening posts and snipers was added to the role. Eventually a Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion was formed , referred to as the "Gas Pipe Cavalry". The battalion suffered 22% casualties and was referred to as a suicide battalion."