John McCrae

John McCrae  Lt Colonel 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, 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
 
Lt - Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian doctor assigned initially to an artillery unit and then was placed in charge of a field hospital during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. His close friend Lt Alexis Helmer was killed in the battle and this was what inspired McCrae to write one of the most famous poems of the Great War, In Flanders Fields. It was extensively published in both Great Britain and the USA and was an essential part of many fund raising campaigns during the war.
 
Much against his will he was moved away from his artillery unit and placed in charge of 3 Canadian General Hospital near Boulogne. Tragically, he died of pneumonia on January 28th 1918 and is buried in the Commonwealth War Grave at Wimereux.