Friday, December 14, 2007

Colonel John McCrae's Birthplace

Colonel John McCrae

Colonel John McCrae was born in Guelph along Water Street and his childhood home is now a quaint museum of anything to do with this wonderful medical doctor and Colonel in the Armed Forces.

It was this fine man who wrote the poem, "In Flanders Fields".

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
(1872-1918) Canadian Army

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.

See a photo of his house that I posted here.

McCrae House, a c.1850 stone cottage located along the banks of the Speed River, is the birthplace of Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872-1918). McCrae was a doctor, solider and author of the WWI poem "In Flanders Fields", which he wrote after burying a young friend, Alexis Helmer, who was killed during the Second Battle of Ypres.

The poem was first published in Punch magazine in December 1915 and the poppy quickly became the symbol of remembrance throughout the Commonwealth. The museum features exhibitions on the life of McCrae, two period rooms reflecting the 1870s when the McCrae family occupied the house, a programming space, and heritage gardens.

McCrae House has two designations through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada: one for John McCrae as a person of national significance and one for the house as a place of national significance. A number of special events, afternoon teas, and programs take place throughout the year. In 1983, Guelph Museums was established consisting of McCrae House and Guelph Civic Museum.

(From the Guelph Civic Museum)

Read more of Colonel John McCrae

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Anonymous said...

This is an interesting post. I knew about some of the facts but not all. Photos are nice too.

Barbara said...

Thanks for visiting West Sacramento, CA.

Gwen said...

What a pretty museum sign amid wintry trees. Nice poem by the Colonel. Thanks for the history and tour of the McCrae House, as if I've visited the museum. :)

Jules said...

I so love this poem and have loved catching up with your posts. Your photos are stunning especially the sunflower series - the colours are wow!!!

Unknown said...

That's a beautiful poem - and good photo too!

Glasgow Daily Photo

isa said...

Lovely poem...gave me goosebumps...

And poppies are my favorite wildflowers (as long as they are red!).

So glad to have you back with us, Pat!

Annie said...

How interesting, Pat, that he came from Guelph. I put that poem in a comment to someone who wrote eloquently about soldiers and war. It's worth reciting again and again.

Janet said...

Neat! That was one of the many poems we memorized in grammar school.

magiceye said...

Beautiful - the poem and the tribute!

Thank you for dropping by and your comments. Do drop by often.

b.c. said...

Oh I've always liked that poem--great photos too...

Josy said...

What a thorough coverage of the museum and Colonel John McCrae (and his poppies)! Very nicely done indeed!

Isadora said...

Such a nice memorial and thanks for publishing the poem too.

smilnsigh said...

Thank you for the background on a familiar poem.

And your comment in my blog said; "We're getting dumped on this weekend AGAIN!! I'm already craving spring!"

You have really been having *interesting* Winter weather, from the looks of your blogs! Wow! And now, you're getting more!

We kind of join you this time, 'cause we're in a Nor'easter, this time around. Previous storms have gone mostly south, but not this one!!!

But... It _is_ pretty at this time of year. Snow that is! Ours is turning to freezing stuff now though. Yuck!!!

Stay warm!


annulla said...

Very interesting; I didn't know much of anything about the author, but I learned to recite "In Flanders Fields" in school. When I finally visited Belgium I found myself whispering the words as my bus whizzed past the former battlefields.

Blather From Brooklyn

lyliane six said...

I was born in the Flanderses in 1943, I came in ontario in Hull in 1987.I don't write english very well.

Pat said...

Liliane, welcome to this blog! It's lovely to see you. So you've been in Hull. I've not spent too much time there over the years but spent many, many times in Ottawa across the river.

Pleae visit this blog again. Great to have you.

NorthBayPhoto said...

Great shot and info.