Poperinghe, better known as ‘Pop’ to the troops of the British Army during the Great War, has its place in history due to the Toc H movement which saw its birth in Talbot House there. This book, the second in Paul Chapman’s trilogy, brings to life the town as the troops knew it, a place of ‘rest’ and entertainment, restaurants and ‘theatres’, Hotels and billets, bars and brothels, a place for officers and men to enjoy when out of the line. Although it suffered its share of bombing and shelling, the town was not unduly damaged and is much the same today as it was then, apart from the natural expansion due to modern industry and population growth. Most of the buildings used for troop entertainment and general activities are still there, carrying the same names, with many of them offering the same services, although of a more ‘refined’ type. Having read this book, Poperinghe will present a totally different aspect to today’s visitor.
IN THE SHADOW OF HELL Ypres Sector 1914-1918
Almost every regiment in the British Army of 1914-1918 at one time detrained or marched through Poperinghe. Affectionately known as ‘Pop’, it became well-known as the birthplace of Talbot House, but was better known by the soldiers for being a place where they could relax, eat, drink and generally enjoy themselves when out of the line.
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