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The Cloth Hall, Ypres, 1918

Oil on canvas by Sir Walter Westley Russell (1867-1949), 1918. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1919 (No 93).

During the First World War (1914-1918), the British sector of the Western Front extended north into the Flanders region in southern Belgium. Here, the front line projected into German-held territory as the triangular-shaped Ypres Salient, with the town of Ypres (Ieper) in the centre. The area was bombarded by German artillery from two sides and, by the end of the war, the town was almost completely flattened.

At the centre of Ypres stood the huge, thirteenth-century Cloth Hall, one of the finest examples of Flemish medieval civic architecture and the economic heart of the town. The gradual destruction of Ypres during the war was epitomised by that of the Cloth Hall, which also came to symbolise the effect of war upon western civilization. Since the war, the Cloth Hall has been meticulously rebuilt to its original form and it now houses the Flanders Fields Museum.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1989-04-135-1


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Study Collection

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