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Remembered Today:

The convent at Messines


Jon Miller
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I would be pleased if someone could tell me whereabouts in Messines the convent was at the time of the First Battle of Messines at the end of October 1914? It is mentioned as a building held by part of the 1st Cavalry Brigade during the fight for the town, but I have not been able to work out where it was.

Many thanks to anyone spending time on this query.

Jon.

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Go to the Church and look at the main entrance - the convent was on the right, It was the Institution Royale, a school for army officers' children (girls) - originally just for orphans - and was established by the Empress Maria Theresa after the supression of the ancient monastery (itself a monastery of nuns). The school ran along the south side of the road and to the south of the church. Photographs etc to be found inside the church, in the right (south) transept; the church is usually open. Visit the crypt and the tomb of the foundress (use the right hand entrance to the crypt) - she was also Wm the Conqueror's mother in law. More on the subject will be in Jack Sheldon's and m Messines 1914, due out in about six weeks. Plug over!

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If you have not seen it already have a look at the first hand account of the battle by Trooper Boyce Minton, 11th Hussars, which I posted a few months ago.

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Thank you both, very much. I've seen the Insitution Royale marked on a map - I didn't realise it was one and the same thing. I hadn't seen Trooper Minton's account, but I will look for it now. Thanks again.

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