I was browsing through firstworldwar.com today and came across this pic.
That’s pretty much how I remember Ypres looking by the end of the battle. Seems from memory that at the beginning of the battle there were still a few homes and shops that were occupied; here, you may notice that the buildings are all gutted shells. I know this has to be some time before the third battle of Ypres because that was the one that left hardly a brick standing anywhere in the city. Most of the buildings seen here (and the streetlamps) would have been rubble by the end of 1917.
Still, by the time we were done there, it was already no longer livable. For those who didn’t understand my strong need to see the city as it is now, restored to its prewar glory, maybe you do now.
By the way, I forgot to note down a memory a while back of the rats in Ypres. I seem to recall they ate most of the food and despoiled the rest with their feces and urine. The people of the town had nothing to eat, and we all felt bad because our army was having a hard enough time trying to feed us to help the civilians, same as the Belgians and the French. Still haven’t researched this one yet but even if I’m right, it’s the sort of thing I could easily deduce from what I already know.