When I went to Belgium and France in April for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, I went with a small group. In that group were a brother and sister of an older age that had a grandfather that fought at Vimy. He died of his wounds and never returned home. They were on a tour a few years back and the tour company/bus, did not manage (or maybe want, I don’t recall) to find the location of the grave of the grandfather. The tour was going to Vimy. So close.
This time around, our group was small enough, and the tour guide compassionate enough to make the effort to find the grave. We were headed to Vimy for the anniversary ceremony, so we planned the small diversion.
The grave was in a small village near Vimy of which I cannot recall. But we had to drive around a few times to find it. It was in a small cemetery that was very out of the way. No wonder the bus driver before didn’t want to get there. The streets were very narrow.
Long story short, we found the location, which, as I mentioned, was in a French local cemetery. We needed to walk to the back corner to find the location. It was incredible. The Commonwealth Graves Commission had kept this small section in pristine condition to that of the major cemeteries.
We took a moment to have a small ceremony of remembrance, which I’m proud to say, my son read that was prepared by the brother and sister. It was very emotional and they were extremely happy to see the burial location. Below are a few photos.
A few years back, we went to Scotland. We stayed in Edinburgh a couple of days, and during that time, we went to the Royal Mile. Within the castle grounds, they were setting up for the Tattoo. We didn’t get to see it. There is also a Tattoo at Fort Henry in Kingston, a short 1.5 hour drive from Ottawa. While looking up when that was, we came across a Sunset Ceremony. It involved pipes and drums, army maneuvers (circa 1867) and fireworks.
We made a plan to go and see it. It was pretty cool. We arrived at the fort with enough time to get a tour of it before the actual ceremony. If you haven’t been, it is a replica of the fort that was originally built in the 1812 era to defend against the United States invasion – the only time Canada and the U.S. have been at odds.
The fort fell into disrepair after the war, and in later years was rebuilt and abandoned again. The fort was gain rebuilt in the 1930s as a museum piece, and that is what is there today. The really cool thing, is that it includes regular army reenactments from maneuvers, to punishments, and all the re-enactors are “on stage” when in public view. It’s like you are a silent observer of life 150 plus years ago.
But I digress. The sunset ceremony is pretty neat. It includes projection on the fort wall and audio. After our tour we found a spot in the bleachers and took in the ceremony. These photos are a few of the night.
All were shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the 16-55 f2.8 lens. The ISO was cranked to 1600, f2.8 and the shutter at 1/128.