Friday, August 30, 2019

The Birthplace Of The Poet

If you go to the Guelph Civic Museum, paying admission will also get you entrance to McCrae House, a few blocks away. This is the place where John McCrae was born, and it has been preserved as a museum dedicated to the life of the poet, doctor, and soldier who wrote In Flanders Fields. It was built in 1858, owned by the McCrae family from 1870-73, and bought by local citizens in 1966 with the intent to preserve it as a museum. 

The exterior is manicured with flowers and plants, plaques, and a memorial. My brother tells me that this is a gathering place on Remembrance Day.

The memorial here is to McCrae, including his most famous poem inscribed. John McCrae served in two wars- the South African War and then the First World War. He was in his forties when he died, something quite different from the young men in the trenches of Belgium and France that he would have seen dying, some half his age. His burial place is in Europe, along with so many other men who fought in what was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

Inside are displays and artifacts of McCrae and his family. They include photographs, poetry, and drawings from the man himself.

In between wars, McCrae traveled in 1910 as part of the group with Lord Grey, the governor general of the time, in the far north. McCrae documented the trip in photographs and in his journals. More from here tomorrow.


  1. Oh what a nice post! I love everything :)

    Saw your blog and thought if you would like to follow each other? Follow me and I'll follow back asap. Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear something from you! :)

  2. I have used John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" on my blog, so it is really interesting for to me to be able to see where he lived and learn more about him.

  3. "In Europe"!
    I always joke when someone says "in Australia" it means as much as "in Europe" - where in Europe?
    OK, I´d ask the same if you´d said "in Germany"...
    I love museums like this (have been in one "in Australia" ..., an elderly in Townsville who had his old home as a museum, met him on the street, he took his time and never wanted money, a coffee or such).

  4. I hope they grow poppies in that garden in season.

  5. It is always fun to see how others lived.

  6. Hello, it is a beautiful museum. I like the memorial with the poem! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend!

  7. wonderful that they preserved this gem.

  8. @Catarina: it's a special place.

    @Cielo: thank you.

    @Rosemary: he led quite a life.

    @Iris: Europe's bigger than I would think!

    @Lady Fi: that it is.

    @Italiafinlandia: quite so.

    @Anvilcloud: I imagine they would.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Janis: it is indeed.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Tom: definitely.

  9. How wonderful that they have done this. I had no idea it existed.

  10. Uma ideia brilhante preservar a história
    Lindas fotos e documentário
    Um abraço

  11. A special place that is well preserved. Lovely garden too. Happy weekend!

  12. I didn't know that McCrae was involved with so many other activities.

  13. A wonderful destination for a visit.

  14. What a wonderful memorial. Obviously, he was very well thought of.

  15. @RedPat: you should visit!

    @Gracita: thank you.

    @Nancy: thanks!

    @Marie: they built them to last.

    @Red: he was quite accomplished.

    @Marleen: that it is.

    @Sharon: very much.

    @Maywyn: thanks!

    @Happyone: so do I.

  16. A beautiful memorial, love the garden.

  17. Quite a guy. Thanks for the introduction

  18. I have never heard of him, but will have to look him up! Have a great weekend!

  19. It was nice to learn a bit more about the man who wrote the famous poem about poppies.

  20. You find great places and do lovely photography too!

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbour)

  21. @Bill: so do I.

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @Likeschocolate: his poetry transcended national boundaries.

    @Beatrice: he left behind quite a legacy.

    @Carol: thank you!

  22. I only seem to see graves of poets nice to know one is remebered and celibrated like that

  23. What an interesting man. He died young but accomplished an enormous amount in the years he was alive.

  24. gorgeous clock .. i enjoy the huge book as well. way cool. have a super great weekend. ( :

  25. I would love to see this place, home of the John McCrae who wrote the poem I have known my whole life. I remember my father reciting it on days of Remembrance. Thank you William, great post as always.

  26. I would love to visit this. I'm so glad he is well remembered. I can see why this is a Remembrance Day destination.

  27. It's a very nice setting -- glad that it has been preserved. It looks like he was a talented artist in addition to all his other skills.

  28. We know the poem so well and now I feel that I know a little about the poet too:)

  29. Thanks for this. I had no idea. I will check this out the next time we are around there.

  30. I did enjoy this post, thank you William.

    All the best Jan

  31. @Billy: he's well worth remembering.

    @DJan: relatively young, but for a soldier, going on in years.

    @Beth: thank you.

    @FG: small world!

    @Denise: it's a lovely home.

  32. @Jeanie: it makes sense.

    @Kay: that he was.

    @Rosie: that poem feels universal.

    @Jackie: you should.

    @Jan: you're welcome.