Our Collection

John McCrae's War: In Flanders Fields

Top of page

The First World War's terrible Second Battle of Ypres has just broken out in Belgium. Canadian troops, stationed along the Yser canal, are under heavy fire... and the number of casualties is mounting. Among the dead is young Alexis Helmer, killed early on the morning of May 2, 1915--the victim of a direct hit from a German shell. Dr. John McCrae, a friend of Helmer's, is there to pick up the pieces of the body and deliver a burial service over the gun blasts. Rocked by the death, McCrae would later pen one of the war's most famous poems, "In Flanders Fields," while looking out over Helmer's grave. Generations of schoolchildren have recited "In Flanders Fields" on Remembrance Day, and most Canadians can still recall a verse or two. But John McCrae and Alexis Helmer have faded from memory. John McCrae's War: In Flanders Fields chronicles McCrae's life from his childhood in Guelph, Ontario to the battlefields of Belgium. It tells the story of his famous poem and pays tribute to the Canadian soldiers who died over a few feet of Belgian soil.

1998, 46 min 11 s

Top of page

Honorable Mention - Category: Humanities
International Film and Video Festival
October 19 to 22 1999, Columbus - USA