book 'Liberation Offensive
at the Lys : from Ypres to Gaverbeek'
An important chapter of the first world war...
that was almost forgotten.
After 3 years of researching and writing,
my book was published on Friday, October 19th, 2018.
A symbolic date: on that day in 1918, the 36th (Ulster) Division crossed the river Lys, near the village of Desselgem, where I live.
After analysing military reports and diaries from British, French, Belgian and German side, I made a clear overview of these unique events in the last weeks of the great war. In separate chapters we describe and compare the facts from these different points of view.
Another chapter is based on the diary of
father Coussement, the pastor of Desselgem during wartime, a man who was clearly fascinated by what happened in these days.
Reading his diary I have bumped into many interesting finds: stories that relate to Bordeaux (France) and Canada, where I was able to make contact with relatives of soldiers who fought or died here during that period ...
Based on father Coussement's notes of field graves around his parish in 1919, I found many still existing soldiers' graves with the accompanying stories.
Finally, I was able to write down a moving testimony by Elisa 'Jeanneke' Coorevits, who was 4 years old in 1918. She was in bed with her two sisters, when a shell destroyed the family house. One sister was killed instantly, the other sister lost both legs and died 10 days later...
I went to interview her at the age of 101, and it is incredible how much, and how clear she stilll could remember and tell...
The book is in Dutch, has 219 pages,
in full colour, format 188 x 258 mm,
with numerous photos (then and now)
and self-made maps.
price: 30 euro. (without shipping)
shipping cost to UK would be 15 euro.
Please contact us for more info and to order.
Translating the book
There is a lot of interest for an English version of this book. With the important chapter on the 36th (Ulster) Division in these events - I get many demands from Northern Ireland.
I am looking now for a way to get this done. As I have published this book myself, contacting an experienced publisher for this new project will be the first step.
For the translation I am counting on some help from my English speaking friends.
To be continued...