Ypres cathedral stained glass fragment

Contributed by Somme Heritage Centre

Fragment of stained glass from the medieval cathedral of Ypres which was destoyed in the First World War

The Great Market Square of Ypres (Ieper) is surrounded by magnificent buildings like The Cloth Hall, The Court of Justice and St. Martin's Cathedral. Two hundred metres from the square is the Menin Gate which bears the names of 55,000 British soldiers who have no known grave, including hundreds from Ireland. British casualties at the battles of Ypres were 420,000. The city was razed to the ground and a person on a horse could see across the whole city. The original cathedral was begun in 1221 and was completely destroyed during WWI and is now rebuilt to the original plans - it also contains memorials to the RAF and French forces. One of the cathedral tablets reads: "To the Glory of God and to the memory of one million British Empire dead who fell in the Great War, many of whom rest in Belgium." From the devastated cathedral the piece of leaded stained glass was brought home by Lt. Colonel Rhoades, commander of a Canadian Battalion.

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