PIERRE's PHOTO IMPRESSIONS of the WESTERN FRONT
1914-1918
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              Pierre Grande Guerre
              shows his
              photo impressions
              of his trips along
              the Western Front
              with his selfmade photo's,
              historic pictures,
              and maps.
              Few words,
              many pictures,
              and many links.
               
              Pierre
               
               
              Warning: Sometimes on the battlefield
              you will still find relics of explosives.
              All these shells, hand grenades, and
              mortar rounds can even nowadays still
              be very dangerous.
              Some of the artillery bombs may contain
              poison gas, which can cause severe
              blistering or worse injuries.
              In France it is by law forbidden to
              remove relics from the battlefield.
              So, it is for your own safety:
              take a picture of the steel harvest,
              but leave these relics untouched!
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              Pierre is a Dutch member
              of the Canadian
              Central Ontario Branch
              of the Western Front
              Association,
              In 2015 awarded with
              a lifetime membership!
               
              And a member of:
               
               
              The Western Front
              Association Nederland
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              Are you not familiar with
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              of the First World War?
               
              Read my 5 illustrated pages:
               
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              Pierre is the author
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              "De Rode Duivels in de
              Vogezen - 1914-1915 -
              Een geïllustreerde
              reconstructie van de
              krijgsverrichtingen
              van het 152e
              Régiment d'Infanterie" 
               
               
               
              Klik  voor de details
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              LINKS TO THE SPECIAL

              PHOTO IMPRESSIONS

              NEW! Pierre's Illustrated

              Lecture "Verdun 1916" - (Dutch)

              Pierre's illustrated

              WFA-NL lectures:

              The Tactical Significance 

               of General Gaede - (Bilingual)

              The Difficult Start

              of the L.I.R. 123 - (Eng)

              De Moeizame Start van

              het L.I.R. 123 - (Dutch)

              De Rode Duivels

              op de Hartmannswillerkopf (Dutch)

              De Blauwe Duivels

              in de Vogezen (Dutch)

              Botchkareva en haar

              Vrouwenbataljon (Dutch)

              Mata Hari -

              Het Spionagedossier (Dutch)

              More Special

              Photo Impressions

              of the Western Front (English) 

              Armistice Clearing Compiègne

              Kaiser's Exile Huis Doorn

              Cambrai

              Fort de Mutzig - Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II

              Colmar and Hansi, the Illustrator 

              The Red Baron's Crash Site

              Canadian National Vimy Memorial

              SOMME 1918 The Australians

              Fricourt Archeological Excavations

              Traces of Bairnsfather  - Xmas Truce

              Yorkshire Trench and Dugout

              Bayernwald Trenches Inside

              Maple Copse Cemetery 

              LINKS TO ALL
              BATTLEFIELD
              PHOTO IMPRESSIONS
              in the CORRECT SEQUENCE

              AISNE 

              Chemin des Dames part 1 

              Chemin des Dames part 2 - Dragon's Cave

              Chemin des Dames part 3     

              ALSACE LORRAINE

              The Gap of Charmes - La Trouée de C.

              Avricourt - Leintrey - Reillon - Montreux - Parux 

              Montreux German Front Walk

              The Battle of Morhange - 1914

              French Bunkers - Mnt. Grand Couronné 

              South of Metz - German Bunkers -

              Feste Wagner 

              ALSACE VOSGES NORTH

              Tête du Violu - Bernhardstein

              Chaume de Lusse - Haute de Faîte

              Bertrimoutier - Frapelle  

              Ban de Sapt - La Fontenelle

              Senones - la Roche Mère Henry

              Col de la Chipotte - de la Chapelotte

              The Donon - Bunkers - Dug-outs

              ALSACE VOSGES  

              Col du Bonhomme Col de Mandray

              Tête de Faux - Buchenkopf 

              Col du Wettstein - Schratzmännele

              Lingekopf - le Linge  

              Kleinkopf - Barrenkopf 

              Hohrodberg-Giragoutte-Trois Epis  

              Reichackerkopf  

              Munster Valley Petit Ballon  

              Le Tanet - Bichtstein - Villa Sidi-Brahim

              Route des Crêtes - Hohneck -

              Gr. Ballon - Sudelkopf 

              Hartmannswillerkopf - Vieil Armand  

              Guebwiller - Rimbach - Hirzstein  

              Moosch Nécropole Nationale  

              ALSACE SUNDGAU  

              Zillisheim Illfurth Largitzen Pfetterhouse 

              Burnhaupt-le-Bas Bunker Path     

              ARGONNE

              Mort Homme Côte 304

              Montfaucon- Romagne s/s Montfaucon

              Butte de Vauquois

              Haute Chevauchée

              The Bunker of the German Crownprince

              ARTOIS

              Illies - Wicres    

              Neuve Chapelle - Richebourg

              Aubers - 1915 

              Fromelles - 1916  

              Neuville-St. Vaast - Souchez

              Notre Dame de Lorette 

              Loos

              Arras Wellington Quarry

              Vimy Ridge

              Lichfield Crater

              CHAMPAGNE

              St. Hilaire le Grand Russian Cmty  Mont Navarin

              Sommepy Mont de Blanc Mont

              La Main des Massiges

              MARNE 

              Verberie Néry Villers Cotterêts  

              First Battle of the Marne   

              Belleau Wood - Château Thierry  

              Second Battle of the Marne

              SAINT MIHIEL

              Les Eparges Ridge

              Calonne Trenches Tranchée

              Fort de Troyon

              Apremont Forest Trenches

              Butte de Montsec

              Rémenauville Destroyed Village

              le Bois le Prêtre / das Priesterwald 

              SOMME British Sector

              SOMME INTRODUCTION

              Auchonvillers Trench

              Mine Craters Lochnagar Hawthorn

              Thiepval Memorial Mouquet Farm  

              Thiepval Wood - Ulster Tower

              Ovillers La Boiselle

              Hawthorn Ridge Beaumont Hamel

              Redan Ridge 

              Newfoundland Memorial Park  

              Serre Hébuterne 

              Sheffield Memorial Park Serre

              Gommecourt 

              Fricourt Deutsche Kriegsgräberstatte 

              Contalmaison 

              Mametz Wood 

              Trones Wood Montauban Guillemont

              Caterpillar Valley Longueval 

              High Wood Longueval

              Delville Wood Longueval

              Pozières  

              Martinpuich

              le Sars Butte de Warlencourt

              Flers Gueudecourt

              Adanac Canadian Cmty. Mireaumont

              SOMME French Sector 

              Bouchavesnes

              Rancourt Cimetière National

              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof

              Dompierre - Becquincourt Fay Soyécourt

              Flaucourt Biaches

              VERDUN

              VERDUN Citadel 

              Thiaumont - PC 118 & 119 - A 320

              Road To Fort Douaumont       

              Fort de Douaumont

              Douaumont Nécropole Nationale  

              Côte Froideterre - Les 4 Chéminées 

              Fort de Souville 

              Fort de Vaux 

              Tunnel de Tavannes Fort

              La Voie Sacrée

              Bois des Caures - Col. Driant's C.P. 

              Flabas German Reprisals Camp

              The German Camp Marguerre 

              Duzey German 380mm Artillery Base

              Destroyed Villages Bezonvaux - Ornes

              Azannes - Damvillers - La Grande Montagne 

              YPRES

              Menin Road Railway Wood

              Hill 62 Sanctuary Wood

              Hooge

              Clapham Junction Zandvoorde Bunker

              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke

              Hill 60 Hollebeke Lankhof Farm

              Messines Ridge

              Pilkem Ridge

              Boezinge Essex Farm Ziegler Bunker

              Langemark Poelkapelle St. Juliaan

              Passchendaele Ridge

              Mount Kemmel Lettenberg Bunkers

              Ploegsteert Wood

              YZER

              Nieuport Ramskapelle

              Pervijze  Stuijvekenskerke

              Diksmuide Trench of Death 

              Leke Vladslo Houthulst

              OTHER GREAT WAR LINKS

              Pierre's Nederlandstalige
              artikelen en columns
              over de Grote Oorlog
               
              (Copy & Paste de titel in de
              zoekmachine!) 
               
              Bochkareva en haar Vrouwenbataljon
              Bretonse Bécassine tijdens de Oorlog
              De Vanceboro Bridge Bomaanslag
              Beneath Hill 60
              Tijdreizen Op Internet
              Leutnant Von Forstner Koopt Chocolade
              Duitslands Oudste Oorlogsvrijwilliger
              Marcel's Bajonet
              Souvenir de Bezonvaux
              Namibië-Etnische Zuivering-1904-1908
              Het Beleg van Fort de Vaux
              Explosiecatastrofe In Fort Douaumont 
              Franse Aas der Azen: René Fonck
              Chasseurs Alpins, Franse Alpenjagers
              Prowse Point Cemetery
              Hoe Sgt. Kunze Fort Douaumont
                 veroverde op 25-02-1916.
              Frank Hurley: Fotoshoppen In 1917
              De Kaiserschlacht,
                 een beknopte samenvatting.
              Herdenking Op Douaumont 2008
              Wapenstilstand 1918 -90 Jaar Geleden
              Vijfde Lustrum WFA Nederland,
                 11-10-2008.
              Geur van Drukinkt
              De Vallei van Munster
              Der Rote Baron Versus Flyboys 
              De Fantomen van Landowski
              Louise de Bettignies -
                 Queen of English Spies
              Monument Op Vimy Ridge
              De Erewacht van
                 Notre Dame de Lorette
              Tank Tegen Tank 90 Jaar Terug
              Von Richthofen's Laatste Noodlanding
              Generaal Von Lettow Vorbeck
              Grafschennis Notre Dame de Lorette
              Google Earth 
              De Kaiserschlacht 90 Jaar Geleden 
              De Wolfsberg - le Hamel
              Overleden Veteranen
              Franse Sector Aan De Somme
              Kerstbestand 1914
              Raadselachtig Graf
              Caporetto; Kiem Van Fascisme
              Lenin's Treinreis
              Tsjechen Aan Het Westelijk Front
              Mata Hari
              325 Miljoen Voor 12 Zeppelins
              Slagvelden Van de Somme
              Schroot
              Op de Lingekopf
              Weinig Duitse Monumenten
                  Somme
              Soldaten Standbeelden
              Mosterdgas 1917
              Schwaben Redoubt
              Oogst Van Roest
              Mortier
              De Tekenaar Hansi
              Gifgas Bij Vancouver Corner
              Nationaliteit Kwijt?
              Beloond Geduld
              Prins Harry Naar Irak
              Thiepval
              De Arm Van De Kaiser
              Artilleriebunkers Nabij Duzey
              Kamp Flabas
              Eerherstel voor "Deserteurs"
              Vredig plekje?
              Moslimmonument in Verdun 
              Bayernwald
              De Slag aan de Somme
              De Tunnel van Tavannes
              Kapitein Joost van Vollenhoven
              Huis Doorn
              Update
                 “Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje II
              Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje I 

               

               












              YPRES Menin Road Railway Wood

              Ypres Salient:

              Menin Gate Ypres

              Hell Fire Corner

              Menin Road, stage 1

              Railway Wood

              Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Memorial

              Nécropole St. Charles de Potyze

              Wieltje Northumbrian Division Memorial

              Years of visit:  2005 - 2006 -  2016

              Revised and re-edited in October 2016

               

              In 2016 we extended our route of 2005 and 2006. We start at the Grote Markt in Ypres. Via the Menin Gate Memorial we leave the town to the junction of “Hellfire Corner”.  For a short distance we follow the Menin Road (N 8), stage 1 of other Menin Road routes here. From the N8 we turn left to Railway Wood to visit the R.E. Tunnellers' Grave and the Liverpool Scottish Memorial. From there we continue via the Oude Kortrijkstraat to the Memorial of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. From there we turn around to go left and northward to Potijze to the French Nécropole of St. Charles de Potyze. From there we continue northward to the Memorial for the 50th Northumbrian Division at Wieltje. From there we return southward to the two memorials for British Captains, fallen in 1915.

              We start at the Grote Markt in Ypres.  

               
              In the Menenstraat we stop for a visit to the Menin Gate.
              The Menin Gate is a huge Memorial for the 55,000 British soldiers
              without a known grave.
               
               

              The Menin Gate

              In 1913 and 1914 the Menin Gate only possessed two lions on both sides of the street.

              1914 - Belgian troops leaving the Menin Gate.

              1915 - The shelters in the wall near the Menin Gate.
              The Menin Gate was also the gate from which a soldier left the town on his path to the front.
               
               
              24 July 1927 - Inauguration of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.

              Since 1928 buglers of the local Fire Brigade, acting for the local Last Post Association, play the "Last Post" at the Menin Gate every evening at 20.00 hrs., gratefully commemorating the British dead of the Battles of Ypres during the First World War. It is an impressive, public solemn ceremony! The only exception to this tradition was a period during the four years of the German occupation of Ypres from 20 May 1940 to 6 September 1944.

              Via the Menin Gate we leave the town for Hellfire Corner, now an ugly turnpike of six possible directions.  

               

              During the war Hellfire Corner was an important junction leading to the front.

              Hellfire Corner was always under artillery fire.

              A post war demarcation stone at Hellfire Corner, standing on the corner, leading to the Menenstraat. 

               
              Five Battles of Ypres
               
               
              In the Ypres Salient five large battles were fought:
               
              The First Battle of Ypres, a German offensive, concentrated on the town and the villages east of the town. It lasted from 18 October until 22 November 1914. The battle ended with 100,000 casualties of both belligerent parties. So, 100,000 men dead, wounded, disappeared, and in addition there were Prisoners of War.
              The Second Battle of Ypres, also an initiative of the Germans, started with the first gas attack ever on Pilkem Ridge and St. Juliaan. The battle lasted from 22 April until 25 May 1915 with the result of 100,000 casualties.
              The Third Battle of Ypres is also called the Battle of Passchendaele (Flemish: Passendale). The battle was an allied offensive. The first phase focused on the capture of Messines Ridge in the south of the Salient, the second phase concentrated on the capture of Passendale in the north of the Salient. It lasted from 31 July until 10 November 1917. The total of casualties is estimated 800,000 men.
              The Fourth Battle of Ypres, also called the Battle of the Lys, was an allied attack, which concentrated on the Lys river and Kemmel. It lasted from 2 April until 29 April 1918 and it generated 200,000 casualties.
              The Fifth Battle of Ypres, an informal name given to a series of battles in northern France and southern Belgium. In Belgium the goal of the German forces was a.o. the capture of the area around Messines and Kemmel. This Fifth Battle lasted from 18 August until 4 September 1918. Casualty numbers are not clear, but are estimated at more than 20,000 men.
               

              During our trips in the Salient, in this Photo Impression and in the next chapters, we will find relics and memorials referring to all periods of these battles and to periods in between these battles. But even during these relatively calm periods, the hostilities continued, causing several casualties.

               
              From Hellfire Corner we follow the N8 in the direction of Menen.
              On the first road left, we turn left to the Begijnbosstraat. At the junction with the Oude Kortrijkstraat we turn right to stop after about 100 m. at the sign of Railway Wood.
               
               
              We park our car and we walk to the Grave of the Royal Engineer Tunnellers of Railway Wood, close near Bellewaerde Ridge.
               
               
              On the left side of the path we pass a mine crater. In 2016 the crater is invisible, because it is surrounded by bushes. 
               
               
              Next to the mine crater stands the Memorial for 12 Tunnellers of the 177th Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers.
               
               
              The field around the Cross of Sacrifice is still unstable. The site is dangerous.  Tourists might fall into a sudden sink hole, caused by eventually collapsed tunnels beneath the site. 
               
               

              Underground mine warfare

              From November 1915 underground warfare, tunnelling and mining, was an extended activity of both belligerent parties, near Bellewaerde, Hooge, Hill 60,  Hill 62,  and Messines. Mine warfare caused cruel man-to-man fights in pitch dark, narrow and low tunnels. The main goal of mining was to bring a large amount of explosives under an enemy position to blow it up at a specified time. Of course, the enemy was constantly listening and counter-mining.
              In the following Ypres Salient Photo Impressions you will see often other relics of mine warfare; water filled craters in the landscape.
               
              Twelve Tunnellers are buried here in the underground tunnel complex beneath the Cross of Sacrifice and this hill, being victims of a German counter-mine attack.
               
               
              We walk some 50 metres further southward to the Monument for the Liverpool Scottish Regiment.
               
               
              In 2015 the memorial has been completely renovated.
               
               
              The path ends just before the private grounds of Bellewaarde Farm and the Bellewaerde leisure park.
               
               
                

              The Liverpool Scottish at Bellewaarde - 16 June 1915

              The text on the memorial explains the event of 16 June 1915.

              Their German opponents were units of the Reserve Infantry Regiments, R.I.R. 246 and R.I.R. 248.

              The two period photos of the action of the Liverpool Scottish were taken near this spot by Private F.A. Fyfe on 16 June 1915 at 6 AM.

               
              We walk back to our car. 
               
               
              After leaving the site of Railway Wood, at the first curve to the east, we enter the area of the German front line trenches.
               
               
              Via the Oude Kortrijkstraat we continue some 900 metres eastward.
               
               
              Here we arrive at the Memorial for the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
               
               
              Five weeks before the fights near Railway Wood, on 8 May 1915 , Canadian troops fought here on Bellewaarde Ridge against units of the German 53. and 54. Infantry Divisions.
                
               
               
               
               

              The Battle of Frezenberg Ridge - 8 May 1915

              The actions of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on 8 May 1915 were a part of the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge.

              The information panel near the memorial explains this event concisely but accurately.

              A zoomed-in map detail of the position of this Canadian unit, marked as "P.P.C.L.I.".

               
               
              The spot of the memorial offers a fine panorama over the former battlefield.
               
              The first panorama southward in 3 overlapping steps, starting south-eastward and continuing clockwise.

              All panorama photos here: © Pierre Grande Guerre 2016

               

              At the horizon the Bellewaerde leisure park.

              This second panorama northward in 5 overlapping steps, starting north-westward and continuing clockwise.
              All panorama photos here: © Pierre Grande Guerre 2016
               
               
              From November 1914 until June 1917 these fields were part of a network of German front line trenches!
               
               
               
               
              The hamlet of Westhoek.
               
               
               
              We turn around and at the first narrow road we turn right and northward in the Oude Bellewaardestraat. 
               
               
              As you can see on the details of the trench maps below, left and right of the Oude Bellewaardestraat were the German front line trenches. At the T junction we turn right to continue westward via de Zonnebeekseweg, where we cross No Man's land to the position of the allied front line trenches.
               

              For now we pass the British Aeroplane Cemetery to visit the French Cemetery of St. Charles de Potyze at Potijze.

              Cimétière National St. Charles de Potyze, Potijze

              The French National Cemetery of Potijze 

               

              "HERE REST THE GLORIOUS RELICS OF MORE THAN 4.000 FRENCH SOLDIERS, WHO DIED ON THE FIELD OF HONOUR ON THE FRONT OF FLANDERS DURING THE GREAT WAR. 1914-1918"

              Sometimes it seems to be forgotten that next to the Belgian and British Armies units of the French Army defended Belgian soil from the early start of the war, occupying various front sectors during the Battles of Ypres.

              Thousands of French officers and soldiers of several units, including colonial troops, suffered heavily during their four years of deployment in the Ypres Salient and on the Yzer Front, many of them sacrificing their lives to defend Belgium. 

              We continue northward via the Wieltjestraat, opposite of the French Cemetery.
              Until 6 June 1917 the British front lines were at the east side of the road. The British baptised this road the Oxford Road. At the entrance of the hamlet of Wieltje we park our car.
               
               
              The Memorial of the 50th Northumbrian Division commemorates the fallen soldiers of both World Wars.

              The 50th Northumbrian Division 
              Without any normal, additional trench warfare training in France, the Division arrived on 22 April 1915 directly on the front in the area of Steenvoorde and Vlamertinghe. In the evening of the 22nd, the Division was ordered to have all units stand by. The Division arrived at the moment when the German army had attacked the 1st Canadian Division near St. Juliaan. The Germans opened the attack using a new invention of Dr. Fritz Haber: 168 tons of chlorine gas. The German massive gas attack opened the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915). On the 23rd the Division rushed into the battle to support the left flank of the 1st Canadian Division, being under a severe attack. The 51th deployed counter-attacks north and northwest of Wieltje. During the next days of this battle, between 24 April and 3 May, the day of its withdrawal, the 50th Division had 3,764 men killed, wounded and missing!

              Later in 1915 the 50th Division was again involved in two large battles: the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge (8 May) and the Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge (16 June), both battles mentioned before on this page. After a stay at the front near Messines the Division was relieved on 10 August by the 19th (Western) Division, and transferred to Montigny-en-Gohelle, France, as part of III Corps.

              Source a.o. : Wikipedia

              The inscriptions on the obelisk mention the names of the divisional units active in the Ypres Salient.

              View from near the memorial south-eastward over the former British lines in the direction of the St. Charles de Potyze Cemetery.

              From Wieltje we return to the Oxford Road and we continue southward. At the T junction of the Zonnebeekseweg we turn right and at the next road we turn left to the Begijnbosstraat. During the war the British baptised this road the Cambridge Road.  

              After a few kilometres on the east side of the road, just before the junction with the Zuiderring stand two crucifix memorials. Railway Wood, our point of departure, lies a few hundred metres to the south-east.

               
              The left memorial is dedicated to a Captain of the Royal Horse Guards, Geoffrey Vaux Salvin Bowlby, who was killed on 13 May 1915 during the counter-attack of the 8th Cavalry Brigade.  
               
               
              The base of the memorial on the right, dedicated to Captain Henry Lancton Skrine of the 6th Somerset Light Infantry, killed on 25 September 1915, and who "was buried close to this spot".
               
               
              We return to the roundabout of Hellfire Corner to the start of the second stage of the battlefield area of Menin Road, to Hill 62.
               
               
               
               Continue to the next chapter:

              Reacties

              CYRIL BAKER op 09-03-2009 15:37
              Hi...Could you help solve a problem as to the position of a wood called FRIZCLARENCE in 1917 the 5th Battalion of the KINGS SHROPSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY were in support trenches on the 16th october 1917 ,it was North of the Menin Road ,it may have been a wood near Railway wood, Thank you for time I hope that you are able to give me the position of the wood I can not find it on any maps ,so it may have been a local name given by the infantry...Thank you for reading this e-mail hope you can help...c.n.baker
              Pierre op 09-03-2009 16:02
              @ Cyril Baker. Thank you for your question.
              The only place I know of in that area, that you mentioned, Cyril, is Fitzclarence FARM.
              This detail of a trench map of 31-8-1816 ( below) shows the location of Fitzclarence Farm, east of Clapham Junction (along the Menin Road), south of Glencorse Wood, and north of Inverness Copse.

              I hope my answer will satisfy your question.

              Pierre
               
              CYRIL BAKER op 09-03-2009 20:42
              Hi ..Pierre...Thank you great help found it on my national trench map atlas,thank you again by the way great website.........cyril
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