Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany

The Beginning

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Europe, at the start of the twentieth century, was becoming an increasingly tumultuous place to live. Germany had developed into a powerful, industrialised and mechanised nation, with Kaiser Wilhelm II standing as a national figurehead of pride and ambition. Throughout most of his life, despite physical disabilities, he had longed for greatness and harboured hopes […]

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Poppy flower

The History of the Poppy Appeal

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On 2nd May 1915, one of McCrae’s close friends, Lieutenant Alex Helmer was hit by a shell and killed. In the absence of a chaplain, McCrae took charge of the hastily convened funeral service and Helmer was buried in a make-shift grave just behind the lines. Wild poppies were beginning to flower between the growing […]

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John McCrae in uniform circa 1914

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

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In Flanders Fields Date: May 1915 In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were […]

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Mells War Memorial designed by Edward Lutyens

Mells War Memorial

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This was reputedly copied from a statue in the chapel of Henry VII in Westminster Abbey. Beneath the column is a long curved seat, made from Portland stone and an integral stone wall, inscribed with the names of local men who died during the First World War, including Edward Horner and his brother-in-law, Raymond Asquith.

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The Talbot Inn, Mells, Somerset

The Talbot Inn

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As part of our visit to Mells, we stopped for a family lunch at the Talbot Inn, a 15th Century coaching inn at the heart of the village. Here we found an old-fashioned English country pub, with a warm, hospitable welcome, excellent ales and a surprisingly diverse menu.

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Mells Church, Somerset

A Visit to… Mells

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Although Siegfried Sassoon never lived in the village of Mells, it is a remarkably fitting resting-place for the poet and author – in a quintessentially English churchyard, surrounded by lush green fields, which reflect his life-long love of the countryside.

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