Donations in the showcase
This fine selection from 2019 and 2020 shows the great diversity in our donations: from the small to the large, from the personal to the precious, both unique and administrative. Donations are used as much as possible in the operation of the museum: in the permanent or temporary exhibitions, in educational activities and in the Research Centre as a subject of study and research. They all contribute to a better understanding of the history of the First World War. With thanks to our donors!
An overview of our donations can be found in our yearbook.
Framed handicraft embroidered by Guillaume Decat in prisoner of war in Alten-Grabow (Germany). Guillaume dedicated it to his 'uncle and family'. Uncle Frederik died in 1919 of Spanish flu and his sister Dorothée cherished the embroidery for life.
Oil sketch of a funeral on the Belgian front, painted in 1915 by the Belgian artist Octave Rotsaert. Octave was a volunteer and later sergeant in the second line regiment. He was severely wounded and became an art teacher for disabled soldiers. After the war he settled as a sculptor in Bruges and ten years before his death he made the remarkable equestrian statue of Albert I in Bruges.
Until 1952 there were commemorative plaques at the back of the church in Hollebeke for the deceased soldiers of the parish. There was a memorial with the names of the victims and most of the plaques were taken by the families. Three of them ended up in the attic of the town hall.
Beautifully processed flour bag transformed into a pillow. These flour sacks are pre-eminently the symbol of Canadian and American food aid during the First World War, but also of Belgian gratitude for it.
Photo album, two diaries and the 'Eisernes Kreuz' of Fritz Sturm, infantryman during the war. Fritz was twice in the Ypres region and survived the war. He died in 1961.
Herman Van Goethem
The extremely well-preserved album of Ghent based artist Adrien Bressers betrays both an affiliation with the 2nd Line Regiment and with the artillery. It contains a number of beautiful aerial photographs, made by Belgian and French aerial observers, which were 'the eyes of the army' and in particular of the artillery.
Mobile tartlet (including a small chalice, an oil bowl and a wafer) that was used on the front by chaplain Romaan Vileyn from Esen. His brother Maurice was also a front soldier during the First World War.
Glass pipe found in the ruins of the Cloth Hall: '1916 AT YPRES IN CLOTH HALL HEAD TOWN HALL'. Hopefully further research can show where and when this type of pipe was in use.
Hendrik De Koker(B)
Elegantly adapted letter opener by Camille Peleman from Sint-Amands on which 'Yser' can be read. Camille witnessed the war in the 5th Line Regiment.
Beautifully worked cutlery that had been in the Cabo family for a long time. It would have belonged to an Austrian or Latvian officer.
Ink jar from wartime scrap and a moneybag in pearl with a British and Belgian flag from the estate of a great-aunt. Her husband Georges Leclaire served in the Belgian army during the war. Two carved aluminium cigarette cases with the inscriptions 'PH Roels-Wanzeele-1918-Souvenir de mon voyage a Lourdes' and 'Dixmude-Loo-Ramscappelle'.
Shirley & Charlie Hartfield (UK)
According to family tradition, this finely worked and embroidered silk garment was taken from Ypres by Charlie's grandfather Thomas Keys, who lived through the whole war.
In 1995 the museum received from Mr Maes from Roesbrugge-Haringe a rich collection of glass plates from the Belgian front taken by chaplain Wilfried Bruneel. 25 years later Marcel Dieryck donated a rich addition: even more glass plates, the chaplain's shaving gear and binoculars, his full diaries and his badges of honour.
Two copper ornaments brought by Australian Thomas Henry Watt, 21st Bty. 5th Divisional Artillery.