Site John McCrae

  • Also Known As: Essex Farm
  • Also Known As: Essex Farm Cemetery
  • Dutch: Kanaaldijk

  • Address: Mccraepad
  • Vicinity: E of Diksmuidseweg (N369)
  • Type: Bunker
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Structure

Site John McCrae is a World War I memorial and Commonwealth cemetery located in Ypres, Belgium. The World War I era Essex Farm Cemetery contains 1,206 burials, 106 of the are unidentified. The reinforced concrete bunkers were used as a forward medical station. There is also a marker commemorating the poem In Flanders Fields which was written here by serviceman, John McCrae. - AsNotedIn

"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.
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1915/04/00 Field Ambulances, Royal Army Medical Corps Unit A medical dressing station and the Essex Farm Cemetery are established by the Canadian Field Artillery.
1915/04/00 "Essex Farm" cemetery is established in April 1915. The dead will be buried here through August 1917. The 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division buried their dead in Plot I.
1915/04/22 Lt Col John McCrae Medical Officer The German army attacks the British Advanced Dressing Station with heavier than air chlorine gas. "The general impression in my mind is of a nightmare. We have been in the most bitter of fights." - John McCrae Second Battle of Ypres
1915/05/00 Lt Col John McCrae Medical Officer Medical Officer McCrae treats wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres, from a hastily dug 8-by-8-foot bunker in the back of the dyke on the western bank of the Yser Canal. Second Battle of Ypres
1915/05/02 Lt Col John McCrae Medical Officer Lt Col John McCrae presides over the funeral of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer of the 2nd Battery, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery, at Essex Farm Cemetery. Helmer's grave is now lost. Second Battle of Ypres
1915/05/03 Lt Col John McCrae Author Lt Col John McCrae writes "In Flanders Fields", noting that poppies sprouted up quickly around the graves in Flanders. Second Battle of Ypres
1917/00/00 The dugouts in the canal bank are replaced with reinforced concrete bunkers.
1917/08/27 Edward Revere Osler Health Revere Osler is carried by stretcher to the Advanced Dressing Station 131 Field Ambulance at Canadian Farm and then via Essex Farm to 47 Casualty Clearing Station at Dozinghem by ambulance.

Data »

Particulars for Site John McCrae:
Healthcare Advanced Dressing Station
Area of Significance Architecture
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Structure Bunker
Historic Use Cemetery
Healthcare Field Ambulance WWI
Historic Use Graves, burials
Category for Historic Use Health care
Area of Significance Medical
Area of Significance Military
Sight Category Structure
Motif War
Historic Event World War I

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