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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.
              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
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              of the Western Front
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              Pierre's Illustrated

              WFA-NL Lecture 

              'UNCLE HANSI" - (Dutch)

              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


              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 

              LINKS TO ALL
              in the CORRECT SEQUENCE


              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 


              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  


              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     


              Mort Homme Côte 304

              Montfaucon- Romagne s/s Montfaucon

              Butte de Vauquois

              Haute Chevauchée

              The Bunker of the German Crownprince


              Illies - Wicres    

              Neuve Chapelle - Richebourg

              Aubers - 1915 

              Fromelles - 1916  

              Neuville-St. Vaast - Souchez

              Notre Dame de Lorette 


              Arras Wellington Quarry

              Vimy Ridge

              Lichfield Crater


              St. Hilaire le Grand Russian Cmty  Mont Navarin

              Sommepy Mont de Blanc Mont

              La Main des Massiges


              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


              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


              Fricourt Deutsche Kriegsgräberstatte 


              Mametz Wood 

              Trones Wood Montauban Guillemont

              Caterpillar Valley Longueval 

              High Wood Longueval

              Delville Wood Longueval



              le Sars Butte de Warlencourt

              Flers Gueudecourt

              Adanac Canadian Cmty. Mireaumont

              SOMME French Sector 


              Rancourt Cimetière National

              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof

              Dompierre - Becquincourt Fay Soyécourt

              Flaucourt Biaches


              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 


              Menin Road Railway Wood

              Maple Copse - Hill 62 - Hooge

              Clapham Junction Zandvoorde Bunker

              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke

              Hill 60 - Hollebeke -

              St. Elooi - Lankhof Farm

              Messines Ridge

              Pilkem Ridge

              Boezinge Essex Farm Ziegler Bunker

              Langemark Poelkapelle St. Juliaan

              Passchendaele Ridge

              Mount Kemmel Lettenberg Bunkers

              Ploegsteert Wood


              Nieuport Ramskapelle

              Pervijze  Stuijvekenskerke

              Diksmuide Trench of Death 

              Leke Vladslo Houthulst


              Pierre's Nederlandstalige
              artikelen en columns
              over de Grote Oorlog
              (Copy & Paste de titel in de
              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,
              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
              Op de Lingekopf
              Weinig Duitse Monumenten
              Soldaten Standbeelden
              Mosterdgas 1917
              Schwaben Redoubt
              Oogst Van Roest
              De Tekenaar Hansi
              Gifgas Bij Vancouver Corner
              Nationaliteit Kwijt?
              Beloond Geduld
              Prins Harry Naar Irak
              De Arm Van De Kaiser
              Artilleriebunkers Nabij Duzey
              Kamp Flabas
              Eerherstel voor "Deserteurs"
              Vredig plekje?
              Moslimmonument in Verdun 
              De Slag aan de Somme
              De Tunnel van Tavannes
              Kapitein Joost van Vollenhoven
              Huis Doorn
                 “Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje II
              Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje I 



              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke
              Ypres Salient: 

              Clapham Junction
              Cryer's Farm Dressing  Station
              Capt. Brodie Memorial 
              Polygon Wood -  Zonnebeke

              years of visit: 2005 - 2006 - 2016.
              REVISED and re-edited in July 2016

              We start our trip at the Clapham Junction, Geluveld, on the N8 / Menin Road. After visiting the obelisks of Clapham Junction we will go northward via a narrow, nameless road to the Cryer’s Farm Dressing Station. From there we will visit the Capt. Brodie Memorial in the “Nonnebossen”. We will finish this trip with a visit to the Black Watch Corner and the Polygon Wood. We will focus on the days of the First Battle of Ypres.  

              Geluveld, along the Menin Road,
              north side of the road: Clapham Junction.
              Memorial for the Gloucestershire Regiment.
              Clapham Junction, south side of the road:
              the Memorial of the 18th Division.
              Some 100 metres away from here, ....
              ... to the east was the front line of 1915.
              A harvest of explosives along the N 8.
              On the northern side of the road,
              left of the Gloucestershire Regt. Obelisk,
              we take a narrow road north-eastward.
              We pass the Cryer's Farm Dressing Station, located in a private garden.
              We continue northward to the Nonnebossen. We enter the wood via the Fonteinweg, on the second road, at the T-junction, we turn right to the Paddestoelendreef.

              The Flemish call it nowadays the "Nonnebossen". The British called it not "Nun's Woods", but "Nonnebosschen", according to the Dutch spelling of the period.  

              The “Battle of the Nonnebosschen” – 11 November 1914

              During the First Battle of Ypres (18 October – 11 November 1914) Glencourse Wood, the Nonnebossen and Polygon Wood formed the centre points of the Battle. On 11 November 1914 in particular the battle culminated in the “Battle of the Nonnebosschen”.

              On 11 November, from 6.30 hrs. until 9.00 hrs., the Germans started an artillery bombardment on the positions of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, the Scots Guards and the Black Watch.

              Under cover of the bombardment troops of the Prussian Guards Division of General Winckler attacked the British troops in and around the woods.

              The German infantry soon got lost in the woods. As they emerged from the back of the woods the guns of the 41 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, sited 1000 m. west of the Nonnebossen-wood, opened fire on the Germans at a range of 300-400 m. The effect was devastating and the German attack stalled.

              At 15.00 hrs. the 2nd. Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Regiment destroyed the remnants of the Prussian Guards Division. The line between the Menin Road and the Polygon Wood was re-established.

              Along the Paddestoelendreef stands the private memorial
              for Captain Ewen James Brodie of the
              1st. Battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

              Captain E. J. Brodie

              1st. Battalion Cameron Highlanders

              Killed in action: 11 November 1914

              In the morning of 11 November 1914, the Cameron Highlanders were heavily shelled.
              The Prussian Guards, in great strength, broke through the British lines. Captain Brodie gathered together all the men he could find at the brigade headquarters in Glencourse Wood, now part of the “Nonnebossen”. Brigadier General FitzClarence, VC, who was killed the next day, ordered him to organise the defence. With the aid of orderlies, grooms, and telephonists, Brodie succeeded in driving the enemy back. Brodie fell in the ensuing counterattack. Trying to hold on to the edge of the wood Captain Brodie said "For God's sake men, don't retire"! At that moment he was hit in the stomach by a sniper's bullet, fell forward and died instantly.
              From the Nonnebossen we continue eastward to the
              Black Watch Corner of the Polygon Wood.
              In 2014 this memorial, a statue of a soldier of the
              Black Watch, has been inaugurated.  
              The statue shows in detail the uniform and equipment of the Scottish soldier.
              There are bronze panels on the base of the statue.
              With a quotation of Lyn McDonald ...
              ... the site offers a bronze information panel with a concise story
              about the events of 11 November 1914, and ...
              ... a detailed map of the situation of
              the Battle of the Nonnebosschen.
              In 2005 we entered the Polygon Wood at Black Watch Corner
              to search for the relics of some German 1915 bunkers.
              The relics of these German bunkers are on the front line of 1915.
              During the war the Polygon Wood has always been an objective of battle; 6 times in 4 years!
              In the south-western area of the Polygon Wood, we found these two 1918 Model, New Zealand bunkers.
              With a roof at 1.20 m., they are just high enough to crawl inside. 
              Some 80 yards away, hidden in the dense wood, 
              this other New Zealand-style bunker...
              ... and of course the narrow and low interior.
              We return to our car to drive a short distance northward
              around the Polygon Wood.
              We park our car near the Polygon Wood Cemetery.

              Polygon Wood Cemetery

              Polygon Wood was cleared by Commonwealth troops at the end of October 1914, given up on 3 May 1915, taken again at the end of September 1917 by Australian troops, evacuated in the Battles of the Lys, and finally retaken by the 9th (Scottish) Division on 28 September 1918.

              POLYGON WOOD CEMETERY is an irregular front-line cemetery made between August 1917 and April 1918, and used again in September 1918.

              The cemetery contains 107 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 19 of them unidentified. 60 of those buried here served with the New Zealand forces. There is also one German grave within the cemetery.

              A walled avenue leads from Polygon Wood Cemetery, past the Cross of Sacrifice, to the BUTTES NEW BRITISH CEMETERY. This burial ground was made after the Armistice when a large number of burials (almost all of 1917, but in a few instances of 1914, 1916 and 1918) were brought in from the battlefields of Zonnebeke.

              The BUTTES NEW BRITISH CEMETERY (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL, which stands in Buttes New British Cemetery, commemorates 378 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the Polygon Wood sector between September 1917 and May 1918, and who have no known grave.

              Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission: http://www.cwgc.org

              Again: During the war the Polygon Wood has always been an objective of battle; 6 times in 4 years!

              German period photos of Polygon Wood - 1917

              The Battle of Polygon Wood - 26 September - 3 October 1917

              To give you an impression of Polygon Wood during the war years, I show you four German period photos. These photos were made during the Battle of Polygoon Wood on 26 September - 3 October 1917. 

              The Battle of Polygon Wood took place during the second phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, in the area from the Menin Road to Polygon Wood and thence north, to the area beyond St. Juliaan.

              The first two photos above show the landscape from the German lines.

              The next two photos below show photos of tired and wounded soldiers, and German Prisoners of War returning after a fight.

              Additional information on the period photos: the author, Eddy Lambrecht, Belgium

              From the Polygon Wood Cemetery we cross the road to visit the Buttes New British Cemetery. The mound, or the "Butte" of Polygon Wood, of the Buttes New British Cemetery.
              View from the mound over the Buttes New British Cemetery in the direction of the wood.

              Buttes New British Cemetery

              A walled avenue leads from Polygon Wood Cemetery, past the Cross of Sacrifice, to the BUTTES NEW BRITISH CEMETERY. This burial ground was made after the Armistice when a large number of burials (almost all of 1917, but in a few instances of 1914, 1916 and 1918) were brought in from the battlefields of Zonnebeke.

              There are now 2,108 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Buttes New British Cemetery. 1,677 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials are erected to 35 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. On the Butte itself is the Battle Memorial of the 5th Australian Division, who captured it on 26 September 1917.

              Both cemeteries and the memorial were designed by Charles Holden.

              Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission: www.cwgc.org

              The Battle Memorial of the 5th Australian Division. 
              The Butte, the mound, is on top of an extended
              German underground complex of tunnels and dug-outs.

              Rather amazing, but not quite extraordinary on an Commonwealth cemetery: a headstone for a German, Bavarian, soldier, killed on 28 September 1918 near here. 

              Christine is searching for the grave of Lt. Col. Scott.
              The grave of the rather young Lt. Col. Scott,
              killed in action in the wood at the age of 27.
              Lt. Col. Allan Humphrey Scott

              Lt. Col. Allan Humphrey Scott won a Distinguished Service Order at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, when he was a Major and commanding officer of the 4th Battalion from August 1915 to January 1916.

              In September 1917 Lt. Col. Scott commanded the 56th Battalion of the A.I.F., which advanced through the Butte in the second wave on 26 September 1917. During the night of 30 September they were relieved by a British Battalion, but Scott remained to brief the incoming commander. On 1 October Scott was shot through the head by a German sniper. The same bullet also struck and killed Lt. Col. D.R. Turnbull, C.O. of the 20th Manchesters.

              Sources: Major & Mrs. Holt: “Battlefield Guide to the Ypres Salient”


                                Australian War Memorial (www.awm.gov.au)

              From the cemetery we enter the wood again.

              We walk to the German bunker, nicknamed "Scott's Bunker".

              Lt. Col. Scott's 56th Battalion of the 5th Australian Division captured the bunker on 26 September 1917. A few days later the bunker received its nickname, honouring the commander of the 56th Battalion.

              Inside "Scott's Bunker" from the entrance to the right....

              ... and to the left.
              During the Battle of Broodseinde, which started on 4 October 1917 and which included the Polygon Wood and the area around it, ...
              ... the 8th Leicesters used the bunker as their Command Post.
              With this last photo of Scott's Bunker,
              we have come to the end of this photo impression. 
              We leave the Polygon Wood, 
              and we continue southward to the region of Hill 60.
               Continue to the next chapter:


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