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Remembered Today:

Off the beaten track in ypres


garfyboy
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Hi all

Off to the Somme shortly and also spending a day or so in Ypres, can anybody recommend any off the beaten track places to visit as I have done the tourist bit a few times and like to visit the not so visited places.

I also like a bit of field walking but I am aware that the Belgium farmers are not to keen unlike the somme where the farmers just leave you be if your not walking on crops of course.

Thanks

Andy

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Andy, search for Pondfarm on this forum and go see an everyday working farm where WW1 has a continuous impact. Harry Patch visited it a few years ago!

Next, fire up Google Earth and look at the posted photos of bunkers near Hellfire corner. We missed these when we were there, but others have posted photos of small bunkers that still stand, unvisited. Post a photo when you are done!

Finally, we were so impressed with the Ziegler (sp?) bunker at Boezinge (sp?). A six-room bunker that just sits opposite the sawmill, seldom visited and undamaged, a tribute to the building techniques of the last occupants and the tolerance of the Belgians.

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If you are staying in Ypres and going out to Boezinghe, stop off at Essex Farm. yes,,,,I know you will have been in the cemetery and the dugouts, but walk to the end of the dugout, up the bank, through the gate and along the canal bank to the left. You will soon see another gate down to your left. Go through that, abd down the new steps, and there is a nissen hut. It was home for four Belgian refugees for years after the war....no water, gas, electricity or sewerage. Just one of the oft-overlooked aspects of the war.

Bruce

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Sanctuary Wood German front line mine craters/bunkers/crown holes. Rarely does anyone walk this part of the wood. I have on several occasions with Iain McHenry. Toffee apples, stick grenades, Livens canisters were all in evidence up to 2 years ago. This part of the wood was private up to a few years ago. It is now open to the public even if a tad overgrown.

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Great suggestions chaps, hopefully I will get enough time to visit all of these places before I set off to the Somme.

Anybody know of anything new in the Somme area? Any holes opened up anywhere? I've yet to visit la boiselle glory hole but unfortunately is closed Shen I visit as it was on my last visit in march, shame

Cheers

Andy

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Here is Bruce's Nissen Hut at Essex Farm. Well worth a visit

Roger

post-42671-0-12219000-1349267448_thumb.j

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Also near the Nissen Hut (Thanks to Aurel for finding it for us!)

Roger

post-42671-0-60334900-1349267790_thumb.j

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Sanctuary Wood German front line mine craters/bunkers/crown holes. Rarely does anyone walk this part of the wood. I have on several occasions with Iain McHenry. Toffee apples, stick grenades, Livens canisters were all in evidence up to 2 years ago. This part of the wood was private up to a few years ago. It is now open to the public even if a tad overgrown.

Hi Chrs

I didn't realise this had now been opened to the public. Is there a specific entrance/track that you need to follow to access the wood. If so, please can you let me know whereabouts?

Cheers!

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Photos of the German command post Zandvoorde:

post-66620-0-60078000-1349300794_thumb.j post-66620-0-65470200-1349300796_thumb.j post-66620-0-71298800-1349300798_thumb.j post-66620-0-96038600-1349300804_thumb.j post-66620-0-74760100-1349300800_thumb.j post-66620-0-82723100-1349300802_thumb.j

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Walk across the road from Hooghe Crater Hotel where you will see a brand new house has been built just up the road. A track runs down to the wood immediately alongside. When you get to the wood take any track left and you will hit the old German 1915-16 parapet within 100 yards as confirmed by the bunker line however, if you take the third track left on entering the wood you will come to the double crater and bunker area. Another crater has a superb bunker built within. A superb picture exists of this bunker during the war. This is the area where much iron harvest was evident on my first walk here when the wood was given public area status. Sanctuary Wood today is still pretty large and much is open to the public today.

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Thanks chap, love the pics, the bunkers look amazing and I will certainly be visiting, roll on next Thursday then 3 days on the Somme staying in flers as usual, does it get much better? Heaven

I will post any pics that may be of interest

Cheers

Andy

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The Ziegler Bunker as mentioned in post #2

Roger

post-42671-0-37298000-1349353472_thumb.j

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Chris,

Do you have a map extract of the area identifying exactly where you mean and which bunker photograph do you mean ?

Mick

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Thanks for that Robert, I'm aware of those ones, it is the one in Sanctuary Wood that I'm interested in, do you have any of that one ?

Mick

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Andy

A visit to RE Grave, Railway Wood which feature in The battle of Bellwaarde Ridge in June 1915. Situated just before Hooge on the Menin Road on left hand side. The woods just up on the ridge have been left exactly as they were in 1915 as far I can make out. Quite a poignant visit.

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and at R E Grave, there is also the Liverpool Scottish stone.

Bruce

(and if you look to the left, you are looking at Dead Man's Bottom.....a topographical feature!)

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Walk across the road from Hooghe Crater Hotel where you will see a brand new house has been built just up the road. A track runs down to the wood immediately alongside. When you get to the wood take any track left and you will hit the old German 1915-16 parapet within 100 yards as confirmed by the bunker line however, if you take the third track left on entering the wood you will come to the double crater and bunker area. Another crater has a superb bunker built within. A superb picture exists of this bunker during the war. This is the area where much iron harvest was evident on my first walk here when the wood was given public area status. Sanctuary Wood today is still pretty large and much is open to the public today.

Thanks Chris. I'll hopefully check it out when I'm over next year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I visited Sanctuary Wood yesterday, although we couldn't explore as fully as we would have liked because my companion is still regaining full mobility after a knee replacement. We found the craters and the bunker in a crater, and it is indeed well worth a visit. Be warned for those who go in the summer - brambles etc abound - and there is so much leaf cover that I suspect it will always be a damp place. Wear sensible footwear, and trousers that can resist the brambles.

Then do enjoy - hopefully a couple of pics tomorrow.

Keith

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