We had another great weekend hosted by Gand Maritime Rotary Club. We left Langney at 10:00 a.m. and with a quick trip through the tunnel arrived at Ypres (Ieper or Wipers) for a visit round the First World War Museum, which was very moving. We were horrified by a cine picture of a nurse telling how she looked after a wounded soldier who had pointed a gun through his mouth, but survived, and she brought him back to some health, and then he was taken out and shot before a firing squad.

We then retired to a lovely restaurant on an island with our Belgian hosts for a most enjoyable meal. After which we went to the Mennen Gate where over 50,000 soldiers who gave their lives to Britain and the Empire are remembered and they have no known grave. A Welsh choir and band played. Belgian firemen played the last post, which has been performed every day at 8 p.m. since 1927.

On Saturday we had a canal ride from the centre of Ghent into the countryside and had a lunch in a riverside restaurant. And in the evening we were entertained at a luxurious restaurant where President Nicola gave her thanks in excellent French to our hosts and her hopes that Gand Maritime might have a lady president sometime.

Sunday was a visit round the flower market, where numerous plants were bought followed by a brunch in a private club. Fortunately we had a 52 seater coach for 28 Eastbournians so we were able to have a nursery at the back of the coach.

All of our arrangements, and ensuring we were all in the right place at the right time, were done by our superb Tour Guide Ian Hunt, to whom we are all most grateful.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

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