ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS

Royal Munster Fusiliers Memorial Ieper

Behind St Martin’s Cathedral in Ieper there is a Celtic cross that forms a memorial for the Royal Munster Fusiliers soldiers who died in World War One.

Royal Munster Fusiliers Memorial Ieper

A tricolour flies from a flagpole alongside the monument to mark its connection with Ireland and Co. Cork in particular. The plaque contains the coat of arms for Munster (the three antique crowns of the medieval lordships).

The symbol of Munster engraved on the memorial in Ieper

It reads: “In memory of those men of Munster who died fighting for freedom. A tribute erected by the people of the province and Cork its capital city.”

A tribute from Cork and Munster

There is also a similar inscription in Irish and one in French, where two wreaths had been laid.

Inscription in French

The Irish version of the English inscription reads as follows:

Irish inscription, Royal Munster Fusiliers Memorial

FLANDERS DAY FIVE

Ieper Cloth Hall

Day five, the final day of our visit to Flanders. After an exhausting fourth day that turned out to be a record heatwave, we started exploring some places near the centre of Ieper where we were staying.

Ieper St George’s Church

St George’s Church which I will cover in a separate article is a Church of England (Anglican) place of worship. It contains several interesting memorials, some with Irish connections.

St George’s Church, Ieper (Ypres)

Close to St Martin’s Catholic Church (former Cathedral) where there was once a monastery, there was a building site where the façade was being carefully preserved. Large steel girders propped up the beautiful brickwork. It made me think of how the shell of Castleblayney Market House was being treated. In Belgium much more attention seemed to be given to preserving the old alongside the new.

Ieper building site

At the rear of the Cathedral, where a funeral Mass was being held, we came across a Celtic cross with a tricolour flying. This is a memorial for the Royal Munster Fusiliers (more later).

Memorial for the Royal Munster Fusiliers in Ieper

We moved on to the village of Poperinge where the TOC-H house is situated.

Poperinge

Our final stop on the way back to Brussels Airport at Zaventem was in Ghent. Unfortunately we did not have time to stop at the site of the Battle of Waterloo (Westerlo) as planned. But it is a site I have visited before.

Canal at Ghent