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World War 1 Centenary Special
The Every Man’s Club at Talbot House in Poperinge, Belgium

Every club is unique to us at Club Historians. But in this very special year marking 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, Ruth travelled to a corner of a foreign field that is forever England. And that place is a certain club that holds within its walls and garden a wonderfully sad, poignant yet uplifting history.

Before telling you about this club, I should set the scene a bit for you, not only geographically but also in terms of this ‘Great War’ we have been remembering this year on a far bigger scale than ever before.

In Belgium, a part of Western Flanders remained in the hands of the Allies and was fiercely fought over from the war’s start to finish. The local people and the many thousands of soldiers who came to protect Ypres (Ieper) hung on to every inch of ground of the ancient city and the bow-shaped area of land to the east - the Salient.


Ypres (Ieper) was rebuilt after the War as far as possible to how it was pre-1914.  (Photo: R. Cherrington, November 2014)

Keeping it out of German control afforded some protection to the coast beyond and the all-important Channel shipping. Without that protection, food as well as military supplies would have been further threatened and the result of the war may have been very different indeed. It was imperative that the Ypres Salient was held but the cost was very high indeed on both sides of the front line.

Ypres was more or less destroyed by the constant bombardment it received. 

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