End of May 1915, the Ypres offensive of the Second Battle of Flanders is over. Chlorine gas was used for the first time during the First World War and the consequences were devastating. 100,000 soldiers had sacrificed their lives and whole landscapes were destroyed. After the senseless killing came to an end, the endless crosses of the fallen remained, between which the corn poppy later grew peacefully and gave its inspiration to the most popular poem of the First World War.
In Flanders Fields” is one of the sad poems mourning the First World War, which let the red glowing corn poppy remind us of the spilled blood of the soldiers. The poppy blossom became a symbol for those who died in the First World War:
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky. The larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved, and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
By Major John McCrae – 1915 – Boezinge
Flanders Fields Museum