Keys to outer gate of Cloth Hall, Ypres

artefact

The town hall or Cloth Hall in Ypres as it was known was completely destroyed during the First World War. The keys to the outer gates reputedly got caught in the web equipment of Private FC Fidler of the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment as he was passing through Ypres on his way home on leave and he attempted to bring them home with him as a souvenir. The keys were removed from his possession, but as by this time the Cloth Hall had been largely destroyed there seemed little point to return them to the Belgium authorities, so they were handed in to Regimental Headquarters and later passed to the Regimental Museum for safe keeping.