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Remembered Today:

Explosion at La Petite Douve Farm


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I was today informed that last night, about 10.30pm, a farmer was doing some late farming at La Petite Douve Farm when his plough struck a shell. Apparently his plough was destroyed and his tractor severely damaged, but he wasn't hurt. I saw a group of people examining the area this afternoon. The location is just south of the farm. So if you are travelling from Plugstreet, look to your left before the farm - the location is about 100 yards from the road. I don't have any more information than that at the moment.

Bob

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If another reminder is needed - don't touch/pick up/or (as I have seen) kick any ordnance at the side of the road. 100 years on - it still can kill!

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I was today informed that last night, about 10.30pm, a farmer was doing some late farming at La Petite Douve Farm when his plough struck a shell. Apparently his plough was destroyed and his tractor severely damaged, but he wasn't hurt. I saw a group of people examining the area this afternoon. The location is just south of the farm. So if you are travelling from Plugstreet, look to your left before the farm - the location is about 100 yards from the road. I don't have any more information than that at the moment.

Bob

Bob, thanks for the info, please keep us posted.

Pete.

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From our Belgian/Dutch sister-forum:

http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=33005&highlight=frees

It was a Kristof Veramme who got hit. He was sowing "sweet beans" when suddenly his tractor got lifted 10 cms off the ground, and white smoke appeared behind him.

He was a bit shaken by it all, "it could have been me 100 years later", but he's happy he had a lucky escape.

And the Mayor was happy too: "i'm glad Kristof is still alive, he's our only member of the opposition! he joked". Guess that remarks needs an insider's knowledge of local politics to fully appreciate!

Local Fire Brigade searched for any other explosives, but didn't find any.

The DOVO (The Belgian army detail that is charged with removing all those millions and millions of shells still in the Flanders soil after 100 years. Great job those guys are doing!) collected the fragments for research

According to Stijn (of http://www.depondfarm.befame) Kristof used a "frees", an implement that his family does not use on their farm as it's deemed too dangerous.

Couldn't find a suitable translation into English of a "frees" (Surprisingly, actually) but this is what it looks like (it's that orange thing behínd the tractor) :

223815-frees-struik.jpg

(Can't get to Stijn's Facebook-page for some reason)

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A VERY LUCKY man worth going out to buy a LOTTO ticket! :thumbsup:

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I wouldn't be surprised if this farmer had a steel plate under his tractor: I know of a farmer who has one.

Roel

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  • 7 years later...

The Petite Douve Farm Mine 1917 in Mesen, Belgium (Google Maps) (virtualglobetrotting.com)

Under the barn of this farm the British forces placed explosives as a part of the Messines mine bombings in June 1917 like the mine bombings of Spanbroekmolen and the other mine holes not far away from here.

The mine beneath the farm which is located on the road from Messines to Armentieres was discovered by the Germans and abandoned by the British. The Mine shaft plus explosives still remain under the present farm.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glosters/1498732187/

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