Mitchell Families Online


Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium


City, Town or Village : Latitude: 50.8512778, Longitude: 2.8841944


In Flanders Fields by Lt. Col. John McCrae (3:27)
In Flanders Fields by Lt. Col. John McCrae (3:27)
Includes, "We Will Remember Them" and "The Last Post"
John McCrae was a poet and physician from Guelph, Ontario. He developed an interest in poetry at a young age and wrote throughout his life. His earliest works were published in the mid-1890s in Canadian magazines and newspapers. McCrae's poetry often focused on death and the peace that followed.

At the age of 41, McCrae enrolled with the Canadian Expeditionary Force following the outbreak of the First World War. He had the option of joining the medical corps due to his training and age, but volunteered instead to join a fighting unit as a gunner and medical officer. It was his second tour of duty in the Canadian military. He previously fought with a volunteer force in the Second Boer War. He considered himself a soldier first; his father was a military leader in Guelph and McCrae grew up believing in the duty of fighting for his country and empire.

McCrae fought in the second battle of Ypres in the Flanders region of Belgium where the German army launched one of the first chemical attacks in the history of war. They attacked the Canadian position with chlorine gas on April 22, 1915, but were unable to break through the Canadian line which held for over two weeks. In a letter written to his mother, McCrae described the battle as a "nightmare": "For seventeen days and seventeen nights none of us have had our clothes off, nor our boots even, except occasionally. In all that time while I was awake, gunfire and rifle fire never ceased for sixty seconds ..... And behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed, and a terrible anxiety lest the line should give way."

Alexis Helmer, a close friend, was killed during the battle on May 2. McCrae performed the burial service himself, at which time he noted how poppies quickly grew around the graves of those who died at Ypres. The next day, he composed the poem while sitting in the back of an ambulance.


Matches 1 to 8 of 8

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Died    Person ID   Tree 
1 Arden, Charles Victor  21 Jun 1915Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I14448 Mitchell Families 
2 Cleaver, Edward Edwin  29 Oct 1914Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I5758 Mitchell Families 
3 Cleaver, William Alfred  10 Nov 1917Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I481 Mitchell Families 
4 Dodimead, Albert Edward  23 May 1915Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I27126 Mitchell Families 
5 Kingham, John  17 Feb 1915Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I27448 Mitchell Families 
6 Mitchell, George  29 Sep 1917Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I80 Mitchell Families 
7 Toghill, Thomas Henry  16 Aug 1917Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I1746 Mitchell Families 
8 Wooster, Robert Albert Featherstonehaugh  4 Oct 1917Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I11424 Mitchell Families 


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Buried    Person ID   Tree 
1 Arden, Charles Victor  Aft 21 Jun 1915Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium I14448 Mitchell Families