In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields

The story behind In Flanders Fields

Canadian soldier and surgeon, John McCrae, is most famous for being the author of In Flanders Fields, the most recognizable poem of the First World War, and a staple of Remembrance Day commemorations.

In April of 1915 at the Battle of Second Ypres, McRae, who was there as a brigade-surgeon in an artillery brigade, composed the poem during a brief rest in duties. The death of a close friend is what prompted the poem.

It was published in Punch magazine in December of 1915 and quickly gained international fame.

McRae served in numerous Canadian hospitals during the war, until his death, of pneumonia, on Jan. 28, 1918. He is buried at the Wimereux Cemetery, in France.


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 loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

– Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

~ May 3, 1915

Remembrance Day