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Remembered Today:

Is Yorkshire Trench worth a visit


WilliamRev
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I am currently enjoying planning my walking routes in my forthcoming trip to Ypres (my third visit, and a fiftieth birthday present to myself). On the third day I plan to walk north up the canal to Essex Farm, and them up to Boesinghe, and can take a detour, crossing the canal and walking south to Yorkshire Trench. Is it unmissable, or just worth a visit, or a disappointment?

William

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when i went 3 years ago! it was what i kind of expected, but still worth half an hour of my time to see it!!

i would have liked to have visited it when the Belgium diggers were clearing the site to witness the finds coming out of the ground.

i would feel that a visit and read of the information boards there are worth your time, and yes i would visit it again

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William, I have seen in back in 1998 when the Diggers were still working on that site and compared with that it is different now, but worthwhile to see, not an absolute must, since there is so much to see around Ypres, but it does add to the experience.

Greetings,

Paul

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It may depend a little on what your destination is after Boezinge.

Back to Ypres ? (In that case if you take the east bank of the canal, you are nearby.)

To the German Cemeteryat Langemark ? (In that case Yorkshire Trench is not that far from the road Boezinge - Langemark)

Aurel

(ex-Digger :-) )

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I visited Yorkshire Trench 3 years ago, and I have to admit to not finding it particularly enthralling, apart from the interesting group of Livens Projectors embedded behind the trench.

Keith

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It may depend a little on what your destination is after Boezinge.

Back to Ypres ? (In that case if you take the east bank of the canal, you are nearby.)

To the German Cemeteryat Langemark ? (In that case Yorkshire Trench is not that far from the road Boezinge - Langemark)

Aurel

(ex-Digger :-) )

My previous visits to Ypres have been by car (with my brother driving); I am not sure of how quick my progress will be on foot (an interesting cemetery can detain me for an hour), so I think that walking from Ieper, Yorkshire Trench may well be the furthest extent of my walk if I choose to include it, and I'll return to the left bank of the canal. If I find that on my first day (walking south along the canal) I make better progress than I had anticipated, then I will lengthen my others walks. Of course, it may rain........

William

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When you have been to Yorkshire trench, if you are heading to langemark then go via Iron crossroad to visit the site of the death of Hedd Wyn, and also the new Welsh memorial alongside. from there, it also isn't far to Artillery Wood CWGC, with a Breton memorial! a memorial to another poet, Francis Ledwidge, and Hedd Wyns grave.

go on....go all literary!

Bruce

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Why not cycle? You don't have to be Bradley Wiggins in bicycle-friendly (and pretty flat) Belgium.

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I may well cycle on my next visit, but this trip was inspired by my realisation that the bits of the salient that I knew least, were the ones within a three mile radius of Ieper itself. But if the Albion Hotel has a bike to borrow then I could give it a go, I suppose.

William

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And if Langemark is too far, but if you go and see Yorkshire Trench, then you might just as well pop in, apart from Artillery wood Cemetery, at Dragoon camp cemetery (not far either from the Breton Memorial) and Welsh Cemetery (Caesar's Nose), and Colne Valley Cemetery, 3 small cemeteries nearby.

Aurel

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Thanks Aurel - I'll add those in as possible add-ons to the walk on Day 3. I still don't know how much progress I'll make on my walks - I tend to linger in cemeteries (especially if there are Royal Scots Fusiliers graves) and will have my satnav device with Linesman 10, so will easily be distracted when I come across a trench......

William

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Why not cycle? You don't have to be Bradley Wiggins in bicycle-friendly (and pretty flat) Belgium.

We hired cycles for 10E per day with free recovery should Miss Fortune show her face (she didn't). The bikes were great and we split our five day tour between walking says and cycling days. One day included The. Bluff, St Eloi Crater (gate code from the tourist office at The Cloth Hall) Wytschaete German trenches and Messines where we had a couple of beers at the Irish Peace Lodge as well as the tower etc.

Day two we took in Yorkshire Trench, Langemarcke, etc

We hired from the local council camp site

http://www.jeugdstadion.be/E/fietsverhuur.php

Mc

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Thanks Mc; I think that on this trip I have decided to do it all on foot, but my next trip (later this year or next year, perhaps) may well involve the hiring of a bike.

William

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Well I found a good walk to be out through The Lille Gate, left at Shellfire Corner taking in Transport Farm, Blauwpoort Farm, Larchwood and then up to Hill 60 and Caterpiller Crater. From there down through Battle Wood through a The Bluff taking in the five cemeteries and the pond which resulted from a shell dump going up from a direct hit, at Suicide Bridge. Follow The Kings Road along The canal and then walk back into Ypres taking in the bunkers at the farm and Bedford House... Was a very good walk and there is the cafe at Hill 60 or the cafe on The Bluff... I have a route map I made somewhere I could scan if you wish to consider

REgards

Mc

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That is virtually the exact route that I have planned for my first day, except that I have it in reverse order (a slight variation on the walk in Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland's book - Battlelines- Ypres)! Actually, doing it your way may be better, and with the pleasant long walk northwards along the canal and back to Ieper at the end, not a southwards walk at the beginning. I'm going to give it thought. Many thanks for the suggestion.

William

Edit: yes, if you did have your route map that you could scan then I would be very grateful - on reflection I think that your way round is better than the one I had planned, and with a few more interesting variations.

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Here are a couple of images from the last time I visited - it suprises most people being in the middle of an industrial estate!.

post-91995-0-11745000-1401148067_thumb.j

post-91995-0-81292300-1401148116_thumb.j

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In two minds about recommending YT as a walking destination.

It's an interesting enough site to merit a visit on a driving or cycling excursion.....but you will take approx 2 hours from Essex Farm Cemetery to walk the round trip. Google Maps shows it is a 4.1km (50 minute each-way walk) from Essex Farm Cemetery - and the landscape (industrial estate alongside the canal) is far from scenic.

The industrial estate location is a major distraction (for me).... making it difficult to envisage the site in its WW1 context. On the other hand, the stark contrast between the trench/dugout and the sterility of a modern industrial location.....makes a strange and memorable impact

It's an important site of commemoration......and a great tribute to the Diggers who worked so long and hard to unearth and preserve it.

If you have the time, energy and inclination to do it by foot....then go for it. Your satnav device with Linesman 10 may well enhance the experience.....and make the 2-hour loop more interesting than I (without Linesman 10) would envisage.Personally, I'd save YT for a cycle trip and include Langemark in the itinerary as suggested by Aurel

You can view read other comments/reviews on TripAdvisor at

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g2613439-d3645645-Reviews-Yorkshire_Trench-Boezinge_West_Flanders_Province.html

All the best,

David

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Many thanks for the info David. I will bear all this in mind - if I visit the trench it will probably be down to how much progress I find I make on my first two days, and the weather of course...... . :unsure:

William

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When visiting this place remember that this was the state it was in during 1917 and that in this area the remains of over 200 soldiers were found whilst Cement House CWGC contains the graves of those deemed to be British sadly the CWGC has chosen not to record this fact.

1522180517_f02f99ce8b_z.jpg

The Graves in Cement House CWGC

https://www.flickr.com/photos/glosters/sets/72157627891114130/detail

Plot 1 Row H Graves 5-16 (12)

Plot 2 Row AA Graves 1-17 (17)

Plot 2 Row BB Graves 1-17 (17)

Plot 2 Row CC Graves 2-15 (14)

Plot 3 Row AA Graves 11-16 (6)

More

http://www.mausershooters.org/diggers/

Norman

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Many thanks, Norman, for the photo and links. My maternal grandfather (19th Durham Light Infantry) was in the area north of Ypres in Third Ypres in October 1917; in his late 80s he did once try to describe it to me, and your photo is very much the kind of thing he described - like a giant rubbish tip. And he said it really stank: "It was a terrible, terrible place".

William

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Desolation as far as the eye can see William and this in daylight, what it must have been like to be in this mess at night one can only imagine and it is probably not a good idea to dwell on the unburied which must have been here at the time and many of which still remain here to this day. This is why it is always good to visit such places as Yorkshire Trench but with some understanding of what it was like here in the war for it provides a tangible reminder of just what happened here in the fields of Flanders. Perhaps on your visit you will go to Cement House to pay respects to those to whom the fortune of war has denied the dignity of a name in their final resting place.

Regards

Norman

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  • 1 month later...

Possibly a late reply but I visited a few weeks ago. Because sections have fallen in, access is 'barred' (sort of if you know what I mean) by tape and the site awaits some TLC.

Still worth a visit.

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