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St George's Memorial Church
Their New Bells
Under the inspiration, driving force and dedication of Alan Regin, St George’s Memorial Church now has a new set of bells and these, in comparison to those they replaced, are capable of being rung.

Alan has been Steward of the Central Council Rolls of Honour for several years. He has worked hard to ensure that the rolls are as complete as possible, to the extent that an additional volume was required. He is also responsible for most of the photos and other additional material now forming part of the online version of the Rolls of Honour having visited many of the war cemeteries and memorials around the world where ringers are commemorated (or for some of the more distant ones, such as Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, persuading other ringers to visit and take photographs when their trips took them nearby). During the centenary period he has organised publication in The Ringing World of monthly lists of ringing casualties for that month a century ago, and been a member of the band for many of the peal and quarter peal attempts organised to commemorate those ringers who lost their lives. It was of particular pleasure to read that Alan’s devotion to campanology has been recognised in the 2018 New Year Honours List and awarded an MBE.

I was delighted to be able to assist with the organization of the delivery of the bells in Ypres but it was not a solo effort. A great deal of help was provided by a host of good people in Ypres that included:
Schepen Verschoore from Ypres Town Council and a member of his staff, Peter Slosse;
Benoit Mottrie, Chairman of the Last Post Association;
Unloading the vehicles at Tyne Cot was arranged by Steven Vandenbussche;
The storage of the vehicles in the Infantry Barracks in Ypres was organised by Kolonel Christophe Onraet and his colleagues on site, Lieutenant Kolonel Carol Vermeulen and members of his staff.

A new ring of 8 bells which have been cast at the world famous bell foundry of John Taylor & Co in Loughborough for St George's Memorial Church in Ypres arrived in Ypres on Tuesday 30th August.

They left Loughborough on Tuesday 22nd August on First World War Dennis and Thornycroft army lorries owned by John Arthur and John Marshall from North Yorkshire. Richard Cockcroft assisted with the driving of the vehicles. Road transport was provided by Stuart Ritchie of E & N Ritchie Hauliers, Co Durham. The bells and lorries were part of the World War One commemorative display at the Great Dorset Steam Fair (from 24th to 28th August inclusive). The Great Dorset Steam Fair sponsored the road transport costs from Loughborough, Leicestershire, to the Great Dorset Steam Fair and then onto Ypres.

The bells and the lorries programme was:

Wednesday 30th August 2017

The Bells will be in Belgium and will travel from Tyne Cot Cemetery to the Menin Gate on the Dennis & Thornycroft lorries were present at the Last Post Ceremony at 8.00pm. The route and timings were:
2.30pm - 4.30pm Tyne Cot Cemetery Parking area
5.10pm - 5.35pm Hooge Crater Cemetery
5.50pm - 6.25pm Perth Cemetery (China Wall)
6.40pm - 7.15pm Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm)
7.30pm                    Arrive at Menin Gate
8.00pm                   Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate  
8.30pm                   Depart Menin Gate       

Thursday 31st August 2017
The Bells travel to St George's Memorial Church on the Dennis & Thornycroft lorries via Ypres Reservoir Cemetery and the Grote Markt, before arriving at the Church:
09.45am – 10.10am Ypres Reservoir Cemetery
10.20am – 10.50am The Grote Markt
11.00am                       Arrive at St George’s Memorial Church

At 5.00pm a special service was held in St George's Memorial Church where the bells were dedicated on the floor of the Church.

The fine tower of St George’s Memorial Church was built to contain change ringing bells, bells controlled by rope and wheel that turn through 360 degrees when they are rung and will be the first of their kind in Belgium. The inscriptions on the bells follow the same pattern of individual or group commemoration found in the church. Each bell has a Poppy motif cast around the shoulder.

The bells were hung in the tower during September and then other work in the tower was completed ready for the final dedication service which was held on:

Sunday 22nd October 2017

The bells were dedicated in the tower at a special service starting at 11.00am. The service was conducted by The Rt. Revd Dr Robert Innes, Bishop in Europe.

A set of 16 Victorian handbells that belonged to a Great War Veteran have been donated to the project by John Coles. These will be fully restored by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and be available to local and visiting ringers.

Memorial Book

Timothy Noad, professional illuminator and calligrapher, has been commissioned to create a Memorial Book that will be on display in the newly panelled ringing room. Each of the 64 inscriptions on the bells will be recorded in the book together with details of the donors.
The Knott Brothers
Captain Henry Basil Knott
9th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers
Died on Tuesday 7th September 1915, aged 24
Grave reference V. B. 16, Ypres Town Cemetery.

Basil was born at the Manor House, Newcastle, on Thursday 5th February 1891, younger son of Sir James Knott, 1st Baronet, and Lady Margaret Knott, of Close House, Wylamon-Tyne, who was Member of Parliament for Sunderland in 1910. He was educated privately followed by Eton College as a member of Mr Arthur Conolly Gage Heygate’s House, leaving in 1910. He became a Director in the family shipping company, the Prince Line of Newcastle.
At the outbreak of war Basil volunteered and was commissioned in September 1914 and went into training with his brother at Bovington. He was promoted to Captain and left for Boulogne, France on Thursday 15th July 1915 on the SS Invicta. Basil was sent to northern France to complete his training before crossing the border to begin tours of duty in the front line.
Henry was in action at the Bois Carré, Vierstraat, and was mortally wounded in the head by a rifle bullet and was taken to No 10 Casualty Clearing Station at ‘Remy Sidings’ where he died the next day, and was buried in Poperinghe New Cemetery.
Henry left an estate of £20,196 13s 8d (approximately £1,691,255.00 today).
His father, Sir James, disposed of his company by the end of 1916 after the death of Basil’s brother, Jim and moved to Jersey. It was his wish to have the bodies of both his sons brought back to England but the authorities would not bend, despite him using all the connections and influence he had. Finally, they agreed that both boys would be buried next to each other, and so Basil was exhumed and moved to Ypres Reservoir and his brother brought from Fricourt, France.
There are buried now next to each and both graves carry the same inscription: “Devoted in life, in death not divided”.
Basil and Jim Knott are commemorated on many memorials raised their memory. They include:
In the porch of St George’s Memorial Church, Ypres, there are three plaques to the Knott family including one to their father who donated large sums of money to the church. A trust fund in his memory was created that still operates to this day: www.knott-trust.co.uk
The inscriptions in St George’s Memorial Church read:
“To the glory of God and in memory of his two sons killed in action. Major James Leadbitter Knott, DSO, 10th West Yorkshire Regiment, Captain Henry Basil Knott, 9th Northumberland Fusiliers. This tower was given by Sir James Knott. MDCCCCXXVIIII.”
“To the glory of God and in memory Major James Leadbitter Knott, DSO, 10th West Yorkshire Regiment, Captain Henry Basil Knott, 9th Northumberland Fusiliers, killed in action the bells in this tower were consecrated 11th November 1997.”
They are commemorated at Collercoats, Heddon, and Wylam, a memorial park at Heddon was created by their father. In St James and St Basil, Fenham, Newcastle, a pair of stained glass window show each brother in uniform.
He was recorded in Debretts Obituary — War Roll of Honour published in the 1921 edition.
His eldest brother, Thomas, who was working in New Zealand at the outbreak of war, served during the war and survived. He succeeded to the title and lived in Courtland, Exmouth, Devon.
For further information, see ‘A History of the Knott Family’ by Joan R Duckett, and ‘Pride of the Princes - History of The Prince Line’ by Norman L Middlemiss.

Major James Leadbitter ‘Jim’ Knott, DSO
10th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own)
Died on Saturday 1st July 1916, aged 33
Grave reference V. B. 15, Ypres Town Cemetery.

Citation for the Distinguished Service Order, London Gazette, Saturday 3rd June 1916:
“War Office, 3 Jun. 1916. His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the undermentioned rewards for distinguished service in the field, dated 3 June, 1916.” His name is listed below.

Jim was born on Saturday 2nd December 1882, elder son of Sir James Knott, 1st Baronet, and Lady Margaret Knott, of Close House, Wylamon-Tyne, who was Member of Parliament for Sunderland in 1910. He was educated at Eton College as a member of the Reverend Henry Daman’s and Mr Hugh Vibart Macnaghten’s Houses, leaving in 1900 and then travelled extensively in North America. He was appointed Deputy Managing Director to his father in The Prince Line, a shipping company in Newcastle.
Like his father, Jim took a great interest in politics and was selected as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Liberal-held constituency of Hyde. In 1916 a by-election was called in the seat but Jim gave up the opportunity of being the candidate so that he could remain at the front.
At the outbreak of war Jim volunteered and was gazetted and went into training with his brother at Bovington. He was promoted to Captain on Saturday 21st November 1914.
Early on Wednesday 14th July 1915 Jim arrived in Boulogne and entrained at 3.50pm for Lumbres. He marched with his men to billets in the Ouve area. Jim marched to Arques on Sunday 18th and after resting overnight moved to Steenvoorde. After the tiring march all ranks were delighted to have two days rest before continuing the march across the Belgian border to La Clytte, arriving in the early hours of Friday 23rd. All ranks were sent into the trenches in front of Kemmel for practical training with experienced, battle-hardened troops. On Monday 26th Private Arthur Hall was mortally wounded and died the next day; he was the first to be killed from the Battalion that brought home to everyone the reality of the Western Front — he is buried in Westouter Churchyard and Extension.
The Battalion began its first tour of duty in its own right on Monday 2nd August in the line between the Vierstraat to Wytschaete road and the Verbrandenmolen. At 10.45am a bombardment of the line began and at 11.10am the enemy blew a mine close to ‘B’ Company that wounded Lieutenant Maidlow and four of his men, however two German soldiers were killed! A week later Jim transferred north to support an attack at Hooge. A welcome break from the front line came early on Saturday 14th August when Jim arrived in La Clytte for twelve days of rest and training. When not instructing or organising his mens activities Jim was able to visit Bailleul and enjoy the cafés, concerts, restaurants and other facilities that abounded in the town. The reality of the Western Front returned on Thursday 26th when he marched with his men from La Clytte to relieve the Border Regiment in the front line near ‘Dead Dog Farm’, St Eloi.
The Battalion remained in the sector until the end of October when they were sent to Hooge that was described: “The trenches taken over were in a very bad condition. They had all suffered heavily from both our own and the enemy’s shellfire during the fighting between the end of July and the 25th September. Several trenches had been entirely destroyed and in the support and reserve lines it had not been possible to reconstruct them. North of the Menin Road the trenches varied from 80 to 20 yards distant from the enemy’s front trenches. The large crater blown up on June 10th, when the 3rd Division attacked, is 80 feet across and 40 deep. The inside has been constantly shelled and some hundreds of men are buried in it. On the line south of the Menin Road there is a gap of 200 feet between C.1 and C.3 trenches. It has never been possible to reconstruct the intervening trench C.2 as it is constantly destroyed by enemy fire. Zouave Wood is a mass of debris and broken trees. The enemy opposite are Wurtemburgers and regiments from Alsace.” Jim was relieved on Monday 1st November; he spent the rest of the month on tours of duty in the sector. The first ten days of December were spent in reserve at ‘York Huts’ before returning to Hooge for a tour. Jim and his men were looking forward to some rest in their camp at Busseboom, where they had arrived on Wednesday 15th December, but due to a gas attack they were stood to. Christmas Day was spent out of the line but Jim was back on duty in the trenches on Boxing Day where a raid was countered later in the evening.
Jim left the trenches of the Salient on Friday 7th January 1916 and after a series of marches with his men took them to Ruminghem where training continued until Saturday 5th February. He returned to a camp in Reninghelst on Monday 7th, a week later Jim was about to march to the line at St Eloi when the enemy blew a mine under ‘The Bluff’ so the relief was postponed. It was not until 6.00pm did the Battalion relieve the 10th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. Jim continued fighting in the sector and on Monday 28th February the Brigade Diary recorded: “10th West Yorkshire’s Intelligence Officer has sent in reports of considerable value as to the enemy’s works on the Bluff, which has enabled the artillery to destroy them. This officer, and the Intelligence Officer of the 7th Yorkshires, also discovered some enemy strong points opposite the trenches held by their Regiments. These are being destroyed by the siege battery.” Following a terrific bombardment on Wednesday 1st March the Battalion was involved in a fierce fight and lost one hundred and twenty officers and men, killed and wounded.
Active service in Belgium ended on Sunday 12th March; Jim was moved to the Armentières sector a week later where he remained until being sent south on Friday 12th May to train at Bayenghem for the Battle of the Somme. The first main action that Jim would take part in was at Fricourt, as described in the Divisional Diary: “As Fricourt Village and Wood had been excluded from attack in the first phase of operations, it was decided to cover the right flank of the 21st Division, by occupying the north edge of Fricourt village as far as Red Cottage and Lonely Copse. This attack was allotted to the 50th Infantry Brigade, which was therefore detached and placed under the orders of the G.O.C., 21st Division, and under his orders this brigade took over the trenches opposite Fricourt Village, with instructions to advance against their objective at 7.30 a.m. on the 1st July.”
The Battalion received the following order for the attack: “The 7th Yorkshire Regiment will assault on a front from the Wing Corner to south side of German Tambour in conjunction with the 22nd Brigade on the right, with the following objectives:
(1)    Of clearing up to the eastern edge of Fricourt Village from Well Lane to Cottage Trench and Cottage Trench to Willow Avenue, there joining with the 22nd Brigade (7th Division). On reaching this objective the Battalion will re-organize with the objective of
(2)    Clearing Fricourt Wood as far as Willow Trench and the track leading N.N.E. to X.28.C.8.0 as soon as the barrage on the west front of Fricourt Wood lifts (i.e. 2nd Zero plus fifteen minutes from S.W. edge of wood and 2nd Zero plus one hour forty-five minutes from a parallel line 150 yards back from edge of wood).
The 10th West Yorkshire Regiment will co-operate with the 7th Yorkshire Regiment against both objectives.
The boundary between the two battalions will be —
(1)    Through Fricourt village:- The line of trenches running from the junction of Hare Lane and Red Trench to Well Lane at F.3.b. central,
(2)    Through Fricourt Wood:- Roughly the line of clearing running N.E. through the middle of the wood.”

At 7.30am Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Dickson and Jim (his Second in Command) led the third and fourth companies forward only to be cut down by machine gun fire, they and most of their men were killed.
The War diary reads: “On 1st July 1916 at 7.30 a.m. the Battalion took part in the grand assault. Casualties were very heavy, chiefly, caused by machine guns which enfiladed our left flank and were so deadly that the third and fourth lines failed to get across ‘No Man’s Land’, resulting in 22 Officer casualties, including the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col. Dickson and Major J. L. Knott, Second in Command were both killed and approximately 750 other ranks.”   
Jim was originally buried alongside Lieutenant Colonel Dickson in Fricourt New Military Cemetery. After the war he was reburied with his brother, see above.
A letter that Jim wrote home the day he was killed is displayed in the West Yorkshire Regiment Memorial Chapel in York Minster. The envelope was marked: “This letter is only to be sent to my father in the event of my death before 15 July 1916.” The letter reads:
British Army in the Field
1 July 1916
My dearest Father and Mother,
If you are reading this letter is means that this war has demanded the extreme sacrifice from me, and my object in writing is to bring you as far as I can, some measure of consolation and courage and patience to bear your sorrow.
It is not in any sense a message from the grave because whatever I may or may not doubt, I have very complete faith in the Life Eternal.
I know that I will be with you when you are reading this, and I want you to realise, and always remember that, although Providence has been decided that I may not return to you in the flesh, that I shall be always with you in the Spirit sharing your joys and sorrows.
I feel compelled by my knowledge of you both to write this, because my own great anxiety at the present time is the possibility of your collapse if I follow ‘Pomp’.
Momentous events are looming up and I have a premonition that I may not return to you. I have been dreaming of Basil recently, and I have an indistinct recollection of a letter in Basil’s handwriting dated June 1916, which I feel is his warning message. If I am correct then you will both know Basil and I are happy.
I hope and desire above all things that you will unduly grieve. You must not think harshly of me for refusing to accept safe employment, even if my action results and your sorrow. We have all to show courage — those out here in facing the music and taking what comes in a stoic manner — those at home in facing the loneliness that must follow the casualties of severe fighting.
I do want you to know and realise how deeply and whole-heartedly I have appreciated and loved you both for your unselfish devotion and all-forgiving love. My life has been one uninterrupted period of all that a man could wish for or desire. If I die now I am content to do so. Life is sweet, and holds out all that a young man could desire — power, wealth and above all, great love, but I want you to know that I faced the future fearlessly, and that I was cheerful and satisfied.
My medals are yours but I should like them destroyed when you both join me — whenever that may be.
Always remember that I am relying upon you both to be good brave parents, and that I can only be really happy in a new life if I know and can see that you are happy too.
My clothes, furniture and motor car must all be immediately disposed of, everything which reminds you of my death must be removed — this is my urgent desire and wish.
God grant that you will be given health, strength and happiness for many years.
Your devoted son,

Jim left an estate of £104,350 2s 0d (approximately £8,738,269.00 today).
He is commemorated on several memorials, see his brother above for further details.
Jim was recorded in Debretts Obituary — War Roll of Honour published in the 1921 edition.

Belgian Museums

Belgian Museums
click on the logo on the left to direct you to take you to their website
Yser Tower Museum
The ‘Museum at the Yser’ with its 22 floors, brings the enduring story of the Belgian-German confrontation during the First World War on the one hand, and of the Flemish emancipation on the other. With the motto ‘What remains of life? What remains of the land?’ the entirely renovated ‘Museum at the Yser’, which opened its doors in February 2014, emphasises the idea and culture of peace.
Ijzerdijk 49, 8600 Diksmuide
Tel: 0032 (0)51 5002 86
Fax: 0032 (0)51 502258
Trenches of Death
Close to the Yser Tower Museum, the Belgian trenches along the Yser Canal should not be missed. The museum is just over a kilometre of front line overlooking the Canal. There is a visitors centre which charts the history of the war in the region.
Open from 1st April to 15th November from 10.00am to 4.30pm, 16th November to 31st March from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
Along the Yser
8600 Diksmuide
Tel: +32 (0)51 505344
L’Auberge (café and restaurant opposite Ploegsteert Memorial) and The Ploegsteert Sector Battlefield Experience
Run by Claude and Nelly, in my opinion it is a great place to relax for a drink or a meal. It is only fair to make use of the café if you are going to leave your car to go on your own walking tour! Claude organises special walking tours so should you be interested in getting into the parts of Ploegsteert Wood that are not normally available to the public, contact him below, he will be pleased to help.
Rue de Messines 159, 7782 Ploegsteert
Tel: 0032 (0)56 588441 Fax: 0032 (0)56 587534
Email: auberge@skynet.be 
Menin Road Museum, Canadalaan
The museum and café is on the Menin Road at the corner of Canadalaan. It is closed on Tuesdays. The café provides a wide range of beers and excellent Belgian food, you may have to book for lunch in advance, but it is worthwhile, especially if you have a big appetite!
It is a super little museum and the owners organise walking tours for individuals and groups, including schools.
Meenseweg 470, Zillebeke
Tel: 0032 (0)57 201136
Email: info@meninroadmuseum.com
Hooge Crater Museum
Open from Easter to the end of November each year, otherwise by special request. It is an excellent little museum that has a bar attached where a selection of simple food is available. They accommodate groups. Open from 10.00am to 6.00pm every day except for Mondays. Closed in January.
Meenseweg 467, 8902 Zillebeke
Tel: 0032 (0)57 468446 Fax: 0032 (0) 57468712
Email: hoogecrater.com  

Passchendaele 1917 Memorial Museum, Zonnebeke
The museum is situated in a lovely château in the centre of the village. It is also a centre of study of the First World War concentrating on the Third Battle of Ypres. The exhibits are beautifully displayed and it is a fascinating museum. Open from 10.00am to 6.00pm from 1st February to 30th November.
Zonnebeke Château Park, 8980 Zonnebeke
Tel: 0032 (0)51 770441
Email: toerisme@zonnebeke.be   

Plugstreet 14-18 Experience
Interpretation Centre “Plugstreet 11-18 Experience” is situated close to the British Memorial in Ploegsteert. Covered with a natural carpet of greenery its semi-underground structure is topped by an elegant glass pyramid. The architectural design perfectly fits into a surrounding wooded area.

‘Bayernwald’ Trenches, Wytschaete
The German trenches have been carefully re-dug and restored. It was from these trenches that Adolf Hitler went out to rescue his Colonel in December 1914 who had been shot. For his bravery under fire he was awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd Class.
Access to the site is by appointment at the Tourist Office in Kemmel:
Reningelststraat 11, 8950 Kemmel

Talbot House, Poperinghe
During the war ‘Tubby’ Clayton and Neville Talbot began a club for all ranks. It was named after Neville’s brother, Gilbert, who was killed at Hooge on Friday 30th July 1915. (I have reproduced his war diary with additional notes, see the section ‘I Was There’ ). Simple rooms are available to stay in and there is a fascinating museum to visit.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 5.30pm from 16th February to 14th November, otherwise it from 1.00pm to 5.00pm.
Gasthuisstraat, 8970 Poperinghe
Tel: 0032 (0)57 333228

In Flanders Field Museum
No visit to the Ypres Salient is complete without a visit to the main museum in the area.
Grote Markt 34, 8900 Ypres
Tel: 0032 (0)57 239220

Hill 62, ’Sanctuary Wood’ Museum
The museum and café has been on the site for decades and has become infamous over the years! It has some of the few preserved trenches available to visit on the Salient and is open all the year round.
Canadalaan 26, Zillebeke
Tel: 0032 (0)57 466373

The Passchendaele Pub
Pub in the heart of Passchendaele, with the lovely Passchendaele Beer, several beers from the Castle Brewery, local beers and snacks.
We pay a lot of attention to the First World War , and with our knowledge, we try to help tourists on their way in this beautiful region.
Groups are welcome at The Passchendaele Pub. The pub has a dining room for 50 persons.
We have a HD TV with a connection for a laptop, a beamer, and there are maps of the battle field area.  It is suitable for a guide to provide information about the front region.
Passendaleplaats 7
8980 Passendale
Tel: +32 (0)474 96 98 38
Email: info@thepasschendaelepub.be

Pond Farm Museum
Our museum is located in an little old house on the farm. It is one of the houses that was built just after the war. At first the farmer lived in there till about 1927, the year he moved to the newly built farm. The small houses then were used by the workmen.
In the years after the war, those men, on Sundays when they had a day off, went searching on the fields to find and collect war material. By selling this, they often earned more then their monthly pay!
The construction and the design of the little house reflect the spirit of the early 20th century. It's austure and modest in size and furnishing. The wooden ceiling, doors and staircase, all have the scent of those bygone days.
Out of this aspect I decided to place the older objects, that were stored on the attic, in what has become my museum: a typical old stove, chairs, horse collars, irons, wafer irons. The museum now contains war relics and antique objects. Still there was one problem. Since, at the time, the only source of light in the house was an oil lamp, it had no electricity supply. In October 2007 I started my job at a lighting company and that gave me the chance to purchase lightfittings that are now installed in the museum(www.supermodular.com). Visiting the place in the evening now is possible as well.
Email: pondfarm@telenet.be

Long Max Museum
The Lange Max Museum is a must-see place for the World War I tourist on the German side of the western frontline. The farmyard is the centre of this curtural and touristic location. A long lane takes you from the farmyard to the remains of the artillerie platform of the former German cannon 'Lange Max' ('Long Max').
In a brand new contemporary museum, the visitor learns all about the huge cannon that was designed to bombard Dunkirk and Ypres. The German occupation of Koekelare during the First World War is fully covered.
The little bakehouse still contains traces of the German presence and is redesignated as a multi-media room.
You can relax on a cosy terrace enjoying a 'Kanonbier' or homemade pancakes.
Opening Hours:
July and August: every day from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm.
Other months: from Wednesday to Sunday: from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm (Monday and Tuesday closed)
Clevenstraat 2
8680 Koekelare
Tel: +32 (0)475 58 50 51
Fax: +32 (0)51 58 01 96
Email: info@langemaxmuseum.be

The Albert Memorial, Nieuwpoort and Visitors Centre
The Memorial dates from 1930 where on the first Sunday in August a special service is held there to commemorated King Albert I and the soldiers of the First World War.
A Visitors Centre has been built below it that is worth a visit. Opposite the Memorial is the British War Memorial to the Missing.
Open daily, except Mondays from 10.00am to 5.00pm from 2nd January to 31st December 2015.

HMS Vindictive, Ostend
This ship was sunk in the harbour during the night of 9th to 10th May 1918 as the British attempted to block the Ostend harbour to prevent German submarines from accessing the North Sea from their operating base in Bruges. The raid cost the lives of 8 British servicemen with 10 missing and 29 wounded. It has now been restored and relocated close to where the ship was originally sunk.
GPS: Longitude 51° 14′ 15.01″   Latitude 2° 55′ 27.04″

Raversyde Museum, Ostend
Walk through two world wars in bunkers and trenches … the Atlantikwall is one of the leading attractions at the Belgian coast and one of the two museums at Raversyde.
The over 60 bunkers, observation posts and artillery positions combined with two kilometres of open or subterranean corridors constitute one of the best preserved parts of the infamous German ‘Atlantikwall’. This defence line was built by the Germans during the Second World War and ran from the French-Spanish border to Norway. Thousands of bunkers were constructed to protect the ports and to prevent an Allied assault. The Atlantikwall also features the only preserved German coastal battery from the First World War, namely the Aachen battery. This battery consisted of guns, observation bunkers and living quarters for soldiers. The Germans built batteries along the Belgian coast out of fear for an Allied landing on the beach and to protect the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend (the operating bases of the German submarines). Only the remains of the Aachen battery have been preserved. During the Second World War new defences were constructed at the same location within the scope of the Atlantikwall defence line. The open-air museum is the perfect place to experience the atmosphere of the ‘Longest Day’. All constructions on the site were restored to their original condition and furnished with authentic objects and furniture. The museum of the same name introduces you to some of the most impressive defences from both wars. These have been preserved thanks to the Belgian Prince Charles, who lived here until his death and always opposed their destruction.
Open from 19th March - 13th November
School holidays, weekends and public holidays: 10.30am to 6.00pm and weekdays from 10.30am to 5.00pm.
Nieuwpoortsesteenweg 636
B-8400 Oostende
Tel: +32 (0)59 70 22 85
Email info@raversyde.be
Close to the car park there is a good restaurant that also takes groups and serves drinks, light meals and regional dishes.
Tavern-Restaurant Walrave
Tel: +32 (0)59 30 62 44
Fax: +32 (0)59 30 62 43
Email: walrave@telenet.be
Vrij Vaderland, Veurne
King Albert I, operating from Veurne City Hall, gave orders for the plans by Karel Cogge from Veurne to be implemented during the night of 28th to 29th October 1914. The Yser plain between Nieuwpoort and Diksmuide was flooded, whereupon the front line came to a halt and Veurne became a ‘city behind the front line’ for a period of four years.
Veurne was largely spared any heavy bombing so life in the region was able to carry on. Aid stations and hospitals were set up, while even the Nobel Prize Winner Marie Curie and her daughter, who introduced X-ray technology, stayed in Veurne. The presence not only of Belgian troops but also of French (colonial) soldiers provided some much-needed amusement.
Open from 1st April to 11th November from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm, weekends & public holidays from 10.00am to 5.00pm
From 12th November to 31st March Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm, weekends & public holidays from 1.00pm to 5.00pm
Grote Markt 29
8630 Veurne
Tel: +32 (0)58 33 55 31
Email: info@vrijvaderland.be

Mons Memorial Museum
The exhibits on display, selected from the 5,000 included in the military history collections belonging to the City of Mons, ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between the civilian and military population. These questions come to life in an experience that will guide visitors from the middle Ages, through the “Ancien Régime”, right up to the two World Wars. It includes the last gun fired on the Western Front by the Canadians that was presented to the city of Mons by the Canadian Government.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am until 6.00pm.
Mons Memorial Museum
Boulevard Dolez, 51
7000 Mons
Tel: +32 (0)65 39 59 39
Email form on the website.

King Albert 1 and the Great War, Rumbeke
The Castle of Rumbeke is the oldest Rennaissance castle in Belgium. It's connections with King Albert 1 and the history of the First World War.
Moorseelsesteenweg 2
8800 Rumbeke-Roeselare
Tel: +32 (0)51 26 97 18
Email: info@albert14-18.be

Fort Breendonk Memorial
In July 1914, when war broke out, the fort – unlike its neighbours – was not finished. To clear the view for the gunners, Colonel Génie Van Weyenberghe destroyed nearly 200 houses in the town of Willebroek on 9 August 1914 (Westdijck, Palingstraat, Oude Dendermondsesteenweg, Steenweg op Tisselt).
It was only on 9 September that the German High Command ordered General von Besler to take Antwerp the bombardment of the forts began on 28th September. Breendonk was bombarded for the first time on 1st October. On 1st, 6th and 8th October, the Breendonk fort was hit by 563 Austrian 305mm mortar gun projectiles, shells fired by artillery some 8 or 9 km beyond the range of its own artillery. On 8th October, the fort underwent very heavy bombardment. 305mm shells rained down and one of them fell down a chimney before exploding between two barrack rooms. The Fort commander, Captain Wijns, was seriously injured and died shortly afterwards. The fort was taken the following day and the surrender of Antwerp was complete.
During the Second World War it was used as a concentration camp.
Between September 1940 and September 1944, around 3,500 prisoners passed through Breendonk.
Open every day from 9.30am to 5.30 pm.
From 1st July to 31st August from 10.00am until 6.00pm.
Closed on 1st January, 24th and 25th December.
GPS: Longitude 51° 03’ 29’’     Latitude 4° 20’ 30’’
Brandstraat 57
2830 Willebroek
Tel: + 32 (0)3 860 75 24
Email: info@breendonk.be
German Pioneer Pillbox, Comines
An entact German that can be visited that has a number of artefacts and photographs relating to the First World War. The village was occupied by the Germans for four years and its history is covered too.
Open on the first Sunday of each month from May to November between 2.00opm and 6.00pm.
Pionier Blackhaus 14-18
Chemin des Alôs 4
7780 Comines
Tel: +32 (0) 56 55 80 81
Email: f.maekelberg@belgacom.net or otcomines@gmail.com

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