John McCrae

John McCrae

John McCrae was born in Canada in 1872. McCrae began to write poetry while a student at McGill University.

A member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) McCrae worked as a medical officer on the Western Front. After taking part in the second Battle of Ypres, McCrae wrote his famous poem, In Flanders Fields.

John McCrae, who was put in charge of the Allied hospital at Boulogne, died of pneumonia in 1918.

Flanders Fields and Other Poems was published posthumously in 1919.

Primary Sources

(1) John McCrae, In Flanders Fields (1915)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.