Essex Farm Bunkers
Originally built of timbers and sandbags, the bunkers were used primarily as a field dressing station. As the war progressed and artillery got better, the bunkers became a target for German guns. The concrete bunkers replaced the timber ones in 1917. It was here we found out about John McCrae, a medical surgeon, who wrote a poem to commemorate the death of his best friend. The poem was about death and how the poppies grew through all the chaos of war; the poem is called 'In Flanders Fields'. The poem was written after the first German gas attacks in 1915. John McCrae is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, along the coastal road near Boulogne, France. He died on 8th January 1918, a victim of pneumonia.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders Fields
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, 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.