It’s easy to overlook the Ypres stone – it is weather-worn, hard to decipher, and, from a distance, blends in colour and texture with the much-repaired flintwork of its wall.
The Cloth Hall stands in Ypres, in Flemish Belgium. In medieval times it was amongst the largest commercial buildings in Europe, with large areas devoted to its market and to warehouses for the city’s prosperous cloth industry. By the end of World War I it stood as no more than a burnt out shell of the former building. One stone from its structure has survived in the walls of the memorial garden of the Kent War memorial.
On closer inspection, most of the stone can be read. It starts with the cross of Lorraine, and what follows incudes ‘From the Cloth Hall YPRES’.
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The nearby Kent War memorial shows an ‘Ypres cross’ (cross of Lorraine within a wreath).