This module includes information about visiting Flanders Fields on the World War One remembrance trail. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a military historian to sell this region, but after completing the module you will have gained a wealth of information about the must see sights for Australian and NZ visitors.
Many people are familiar with the region of Flanders through John McCrae’s famous poem, “In Flanders Fields” written during WW1 in 1915. Flanders Fields is a compact region about one third the size of the state of Victoria. From 1914 until 1918, the once peaceful rural landscape was sadly transformed into one of the bloodiest battlefields of the war. There were over a million casualties – soldiers either wounded, missing or killed in action, in Flanders Fields alone.
Australia and New Zealand shares a close bond with Flanders forged in 1917, when ANZAC soldiers fought in the region in the Battle of Passchendaele. There are many memorials and tributes to Aussies and Kiwis throughout Flanders in recognition of their service in WW1.
Some marketers have recently labeled remembrance tourism as “dark tourism”. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask anyone who has visited Flanders Fields and they will tell you that while it can at times the history can be confronting, the region is so beautiful and the locals so welcoming, that this is one of the most enlightening travel experiences you will have.