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ON THE BANKS OF THE YSER CANAL-ESSEX FARM- NORTH OF YPRES

The first photograph depicts the concrete shelter at Essex farm which lies adjacent to the Yser canal shown in the second picture. During the Great War the canal banks were full of tunnels and dug-outs used by the British as shelters. On the 2nd August 1917 after the 11th Royal Sussex came out of the assault on St. Julien, the Second in Command of the battalion put the survivors of the attack under cover in the various dug-outs along the canal bank. It is believed that there are still tunnels in the ground shown in the photograph, the entrances having been long since blocked in.

"No 4 Bridge" crossed over the canal at this point and was the route Blunden often took when making his way to the front line.

The concrete shelter is the place where Lieutenant-Colonel J.M.McCrae of the Royal Canadian Medical Corps author of the poem "In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow" served in 1915.

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