Cancelled Post (Office), Ypres

Ypres was an historic medieval town in Belgium that was “strategically placed” during World War I. Three battles were fought there; the German army started the second in April of 1915, but when they couldn’t take the town, they chose instead to demolish it with artillery. Their guns included a 17-inch howitzer firing shells of 1,719 pounds; it was said the shells flew in “with a noise like a runaway tramcar on badly laid rails.” The gun was the legendary Big Bertha, made by Krupp and named for the heiress who inherited the firm in 1902. The post office in Ypres, shown here in a postcard mailed to Yorkshire in 1921, was on the receiving end of some of the punishment. And another view:

 


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