A chance meeting in a flanders field



John Mayo (second from right) of Vassar-Smith Lodge has just returned from Belgium where he attended the Passchendaele centenary commemorations. In a small cemetery near Ypres, he and his sister Margaret laid a wreath on the grave of their Great-uncle Jim. He was also the uncle of Jim (Vale of Castiard Lodge) and Phil Blatchly (also Vassar-Smith), said John.

When we arrived, there were a number of old cars parked outside, all proudly sporting the Welsh Dragon.  We thought no more of it, but after laying the wreath and about to walk around the rest of the cemetery, I noticed a chap who bore a startling resemblance to Bob Jones from just over the border in Monmouthshire. As we closed on each other, I realised it was Bob, together with Chris Evans, the Deputy PGM for Monmouthshire and Joe Price another Chepstow Past Master, all accompanied by their wives. Bob had driven his Morris Minor, Chris his Triumph Stag and Joes wife Sarah, an Alfa-Romeo.

Commenting on the photo, John said, Sadly, the lens appears to have distorted some of us around the waistline!

The cemetery was also the last resting place of the poet Hedd Wyn and BBC2 was present, filming for a programme to be broadcast this Saturday. HRH The Prince of Wales visited this grave the following day after the commemoration at Tyne Cot.

This article, written by W. Bro. John Mayo of the Province of Gloucestershire forwarded courtesy of W. Bro. Bob Jones.