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Title: Ypres and the Battles of Ypres
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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Internet Archive)



    MICHELIN ILLUSTRATED GUIDES TO THE BATTLEFIELDS (1914--1918)


    YPRES AND THE BATTLES OF YPRES.


    MICHELIN & Cie., CLERMONT-FERRAND
    MICHELIN TYRE Co. Ltd., 81 Fulham Road, LONDON, S. W.
    MICHELIN TIRE Co., MILLTOWN, N. J., U. S. A.



    _The Best & Cheapest
    Detachable Wheel is
    The Michelin Wheel_

    [Illustration: _The Ideal of the Tourist_]

    _The Michelin Wheel is_
    _ELEGANT_ _SIMPLE_
    _STRONG_ _PRACTICAL_

    _May we send you our illustrated descriptive brochure?_


    MICHELIN TYRE CO., Ltd.
    _81, Fulham Road, London,_ S.W. 3.



    IN MEMORY
    OF THE MICHELIN WORKMEN
    AND EMPLOYEES WHO DIED GLORIOUSLY
    FOR THEIR COUNTRY.


    YPRES AND THE BATTLES OF YPRES


    _ITINERARY:_
    LILLE--ARMENTIÈRES--MESSINES--POELCAPPELLE
    --YPRES--POPERINGHE--
    LES MONTS--BAILLEUL--BÉTHUNE--LILLE.


    Published by
    MICHELIN & CIE.
    Clermont-Ferrand, France.

    Copyright 1919 by Michelin & Cie.

    _All rights of translation, adaptation, or reproduction (in part or
    whole) reserved in all countries._

[Illustration]



YPRES
AND THE BATTLES FOR ITS POSSESSION


FOREWORD

The town of Ypres lies in a sort of natural basin formed by a maritime
plain intersected by canals, and dominated on the north, north-east and
south by low wooded hills.

These canals, of which the Yser Canal is the most important, follow a
general direction south-east--north-west. A number of streams flowing in
the same direction also water the plain. In addition, there are the
Dickebusch, Zillebeke and Bellewaarde ponds.

The hills forming the sides of this basin are very low and partly
wooded. The line of their crests runs approximately from north to south,
through Houthulst Forest (road from Poelcappelle to Clercken),
Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Broodseinde, Becelaere, Gheluvelt, the
strategic Hill 60 (south of Zillebeke) and St. Eloi. Further south is
the Messines-Wytschaete ridge, and to the south-west the Hills of
Flanders.

Houthulst Forest is the largest of the woods. Next come the islets of
Westroosebeke and Passchendaele, then, south of Zonnebeke, Polygone
Wood, Nonne-Bosschen (or Nonnes) Wood, and the Woods of Glencorse,
Inverness and Herenthage.

In this region, with its essentially maritime climate, the war assumed a
character entirely different from that of the rest of the front. The
marshy ground, almost at sea-level, is further sodden by constant rain
and mists, and forms a spongy mass, in which it was impossible to dig
trenches or underground shelters. Water is found immediately below the
surface, so that the only possible defence-works were parapets. The
bursting shells made huge craters which, promptly filling with water,
became so many death-traps for wounded and unwounded alike.

The defence on both sides consequently centred around the woods,
villages, and numerous farms, which were converted into redoubts with
concrete blockhouses and deep wire entanglements. The slightest bits of
rising ground here played an important part, and were fiercely disputed.
The crests which dominate the basin of Ypres were used as
observation-posts--the lowering sky being usually unfavourable for
aerial observation--while their counter-slopes masked the concentrations
of troops for the attacks.

It was therefore along the line of crests and around the fortified farms
that the fighting reached its maximum of intensity.

The principal military operations which took place in the vicinity of
the town between October, 1914, and November, 1917, may be divided as
follows:--First, a powerful German offensive--a counter-stroke to the
battles of the Yser--then a very definite effort to take the town. The
rôle of the Allied armies was at that time purely defensive.

The second stage was marked by a British and Franco-British offensive,
begun in the second half of 1916 and considerably developed during the
summer and autumn of the following year. The object of these operations,
which ended in November, 1917, was the clearing of Ypres. All the
objectives were attained and the plains of Flanders were opened to the
Allies.

A final effort by the Germans in great strength to the south of the town
was checked by the resistance of the Allies in April, 1918. In September
and October, 1918, the enemy troops finally evacuated the country under
pressure of the victorious Allied offensive.

[Illustration: BRITISH SENTINEL ON NIGHT-DUTY IN FRONT OF THE RUINED
CLOTH HALL]



=THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE OF 1914=
(October 29--November 15, 1914.)


=Preliminary Operations=

After the victory of the Marne, which drove the Germans north of the
Aisne, began the operations known as "the Race to the Sea." Each side
endeavoured to outpace the other, with the object of surrounding the
enemy's marching wing.

This remarkable "Race to the Sea"--a widely extended movement splendidly
carried out by General Foch, and in which the Allied forces in their
march towards the north constantly outstripped the enemy--might have
been used as the starting-point for a grand Allied offensive against the
German right, but the exhaustion of the Belgian army, after the terrible
trials which it had just gone through in its retreat on the
Yser--following on the fall of Antwerp--and the delays in the transport
of the British troops from the Aisne front to the north, prevented the
development of this offensive.

It was therefore only possible for the Allied armies to fix their front
and make it impregnable.

The stages of this race to the sea and the fixation of the front took
place between September 20 and October 23, 1914.


=The Forces Engaged= (Oct. 1914)

When the First Battle of Ypres opened, the front described a wide
semi-circle passing through Zonnebeke, Gheluvelt and Zandvoorde,
running thence south of Messines, and finally linking up with the line
to the east of Armentières.

[Illustration]

At the beginning of the battle all this part of the front was held by
the British army, as follows: from Zonnebeke to Zandvoorde, the 1st
Corps (Haig) and 4th Corps (Rawlinson); from Zandvoorde to Messines, the
Calvary Corps (Allenby), two infantry divisions, and the Lahore
Division, which had just landed at Marseilles; lastly, from Messines to
Armentières, the 3rd Corps (Pulteney).

Facing these forces were the German IVth army, consisting of the XIIIth,
XVth and XVIth active corps, and the IInd Bavarian Corps, reinforced
during the battle by a Division of the Guards. The British Cavalry Corps
had to face four German Cavalry Corps.

[Illustration: THE GERMAN THRUST OF OCT. 29--30, 1914 (29--30/10)]

To make up for their setback in the race to the sea, the German High
Command decided on a strenuous effort to break through the Allies' front
at Ypres. The "Battle for Calais" was about to begin. The enemy
confidently expected to reach the coast, from which they hoped to expose
England to such peril as would break down the pride of that troublesome
enemy.

The German attack began on October 29 under the eye of the Kaiser, who,
for the following five days, took up his quarters at Thielt, whence he
arranged to make a triumphal entry into Ypres.

For seventeen days (October 29--November 15) the German regiments,
elated by the presence of their Emperor, fought with unheard-of frenzy
and an utter disregard of losses in their frantic attacks against the
Ypres salient.

[Illustration: ON OCT. 31, THE GERMANS MADE PROGRESS, SOUTH OF YPRES,
BUT WERE DRIVEN BACK, EASTWARDS, TO GHELUVELT]

To the east of Ypres the action fought between Poelcappelle and
Gheluvelt failed. The fierce German attacks, in spite of the masses of
men engaged, broke down before the stubborn resistance of the Allies.

In a counter-offensive the British, supported on their left by French
divisions, reached the village of Becelaere, between Zonnebeke and
Gheluvelt, but were unable to hold it.

Further south, the British were forced to abandon Zandvoorde and
Hollebeke. Gheluvelt, first lost on October 30, was recaptured on the
31st in a counter-attack by the 1st Corps. Supported by three French
battalions, the British subsequently repulsed all attacks and
successfully barred the road from Menin to Ypres. On the evening of the
31st, the line in the eastern sector ran as follows: east of Frezenberg,
Gheluvelt, east of Klein Zillebeke and the bend in the canal to the
north-east of Hollebeke.

[Illustration: ON NOV. 1, THE SITUATION WAS CRITICAL IN THE EXTREME. THE
GERMANS CAPTURED THE MESSINES-WYTSCHAETE RIDGE, AND THE BRITISH FELL
BACK ON WULVERGHEM]

The Germans were more successful to the south-east. After an intense
bombardment they attacked, on October 30, from Saint-Yves to Wytschaete,
capturing Saint-Yves and obtaining a footing in Messines, from which,
however, they were immediately driven by a counter-attack.

On October 31, the Germans, after concentrating enormous masses of
troops between Oosttaverne and Roozebeek Canal, made a fresh attack. In
the morning they gained a footing in the eastern outskirts of Messines,
but could get no further, thanks to a counter-attack by three French
battalions with twelve guns from St. Eloi.

The Germans, however, redoubled their efforts, and towards noon, after a
fierce struggle in the streets of Messines, the British cavalry were
gradually forced back, but clung desperately to the western outskirts of
the village. At about 3 p.m. a fierce struggle began for the recapture
of the convent to the south of Messines, then in the enemy's hands. By
night the British were in possession of the last houses west of
Messines, the Germans holding the eastern crest.

[Illustration: ON NOV. 2, THE FRENCH COUNTER-ATTACKED AND RETOOK THE
MESSINES-WYTSCHAETE RIDGE. THE GERMANS LAUNCHED A MASS ATTACK AGAINST
GHELUVELT]

During the night of October 31, the Messines-Wytschaete crest was again
fiercely attacked. The Germans gained a footing in Wytschaete and broke
the British line to the north of Messines. A withdrawal became
necessary, and at dawn the line was set back as far as the western
outskirts of Wulverghem.

During the day of November 1, Wytschaete was retaken and lost again.

French Zouaves, acting as reinforcements, held their ground doggedly in
front of St. Eloi. The enemy offensive redoubled in intensity, and the
situation became desperate. As a result of the flooding of the Yser, the
German IIIrd Corps in the northern sector became available and joined in
the assault.

The French 14th Corps, hurriedly called up, counter-attacked furiously
and succeeded in driving back the Germans and gaining a fresh footing in
the western outskirts of Wytschaete. On November 2, the French were once
more in possession of the western crest of Messines-Wytschaete.

This check did not daunt the Germans, who, having just been reinforced
from their Belgian garrisons, directed their efforts further to the
north. The attack was made by compact masses of troops on the St.
Eloi-Zwarteleen front, the movement coinciding with a thrust against
Gheluvelt on the Menin-Ypres Road. At the latter point the front was
momentarily broken, but furious counter-attacks re-established the
original positions. The French troops which held the bend of the canal
north-east of Hollebeke were overpowered and thrown back on
Verbranden-Molen. A counter-attack by the 1st British Corps checked the
enemy onrush, and after a magnificent defence the original line was
almost entirely maintained.

[Illustration: THE GERMANS CONTINUED THEIR FURIOUS ATTACKS UNTIL NOV.
11, BUT FAILED TO REACH THEIR OBJECTIVE: YPRES]

The battle continued to rage with increasing violence, the culminating
point being reached on November 11. At dawn the Germans, after a
terrific artillery preparation lasting several hours, attacked with the
infantry of the Ist and IVth Brigades of the Prussian Guards. They
succeeded in piercing the line in three places, and forced their way
into the woods behind the trenches to a depth of rather more than two
miles through the principal breach.

They did not, however, reach their objective. Enfiladed by machine-gun
fire, they were partly driven back into their trenches, after a bloody
hand-to-hand struggle amid great confusion. The losses on both sides
were very heavy, without any decisive result being attained.

The weather, previously bad, now became a violent storm. During the
night, under cover of the hurricane, the Prussian Guard broke through
the Allies' front. Ypres--the prize on which the Kaiser had set his
heart--seemed at last within the enemy's grasp.

But the British, momentarily demoralized, quickly rallied and drove back
the Prussians in a heroic charge.

The struggle continued fiercely during the following days, the Germans
launching numerous attacks with compact masses of troops. The deep lines
of infantry, led by young officers, whose undeniable courage did not
compensate for their lack of experience, were mown down.

Exasperated by this check, the enemy set about to destroy the town which
they were unable to take. On November 10, German aeroplanes dropped
incendiary bombs, and thenceforth the bombardment was conducted
methodically both by aeroplanes and by guns firing from ten to twenty
shells per minute.

Up to the 13th, the town had suffered comparatively little. The Cloth
Hall had only been hit by two shells (on the 5th) and by a few bombs.
But in the disastrous days of October 22, 23 and afterwards, the
bombardment became more intense and better regulated. The Germans
brought up an armoured train to Houthem, which, directed by observation
balloons, rained incendiary and explosive shells on the town. On the
evening of the 23rd, all that remained of the Place des Halles was a
heap of ruins.

[Illustration: THE CLOTH HALL IN FLAMES (NOV. 22, 1914)
_The Germans, unable to capture Ypres, destroyed it methodically by
shell-fire (photo, Antony, Ypres)_.]

[Illustration: DURING THE WINTER MONTHS LOG-ROADS WERE NECESSARY FOR THE
LORRIES AND ARTILLERY, AND EVEN THESE SANK IN THE BOTTOMLESS MUD]


=Period of Comparative Calm=
(December, 1914--April, 1915.)

Having failed to pierce the front in the neighbourhood of Ypres, the
Germans abandoned their attacks in close formation, and operations in
this sector were soon limited to incessant artillery actions,
occasionally followed by fierce surprise attacks at isolated points.

Some of the attacks during this period of comparative calm are worthy of
note.

On December 10, the Germans launched three attacks against the British
troops in front of St. Eloi, only one of which gave any result. The
enemy captured the first trenches of the Allies' line, but were driven
out on the following night by a counter-attack.

Other attempts were made during the following week, with the same
negative result.

On December 17, the Germans attacked in force to the north-west of
Ypres. Zonnebeke, Langemarck and Bixschoote were bitterly disputed, and
the two last-named villages remained in the hands of the enemy.

These battles were fought in a sea of mud formed by the rain and the
flooding of the land by the Belgians.

One Colonel wrote: "The ground on which we are fighting is awful. There
is a crust about a foot thick which is comparatively good, but
underneath there is bottomless mud. Men standing in trenches four or
five feet deep are almost unable to get out, and gradually sink until it
takes several men to extricate them."

The first fortnight of January was comparatively quiet. During the
second fortnight a strong German attack broke down before the front-line
trenches near Bixschoote.

The continual rains in this previously flooded district rendered all
activity impossible, save that of the artillery, which continued to
bombard unceasingly during February.

[Illustration: THE FRONT-LINE DURING THE WINTER CAMPAIGN OF 1914--1915]

It was only in the first half of March that the opposing armies became
really active. From the 5th to 11th, powerful German attacks were
repulsed between Dixmude and the Lys.

The British, on their part, were not inactive during this period. They
fought a vigorous action between the Lys and La Bassée, captured
Neuve-Chapelle after prolonged strenuous fighting, and took a thousand
prisoners, including several officers.

As the weather conditions improved, the number of local engagements
increased. In an enemy attack on St. Eloi, between March 12 and 18, the
British first lost and then recaptured that village. Further south,
during the first half of April, fierce engagements were fought without
decisive result in front of the villages of Kemmel and Wulverghem.

The Germans continued to bombard Ypres with large calibre shells,
heaping ruins upon ruins.



=THE SECOND BATTLE OF YPRES=
(April--May--June, 1915.)


The long period of enforced inaction during the winter months, and the
depressing waiting in the icy mud, were now succeeded first by local
enemy attacks, then by a fresh powerfully organised attempt by the
Germans to capture Ypres.

The battle began on April 14 with a strong unsuccessful thrust to the
north of Ypres. The British replied by attacking Hill 60.

On April 17, after the firing of a powerful mine, the hill was
brilliantly captured, and in spite of bitter counter-attacks on the 18th
by the Germans, who fully realised the importance of this _point
d'appui_, the position remained in the hands of the British.

Meanwhile, a new German offensive was being prepared, which their High
Command believed would prove irresistible, thanks to the use of a new
weapon, as murderous as it was unexpected.

Although Germany had signed the clause of the Hague Convention (July 29,
1899), which prohibits the use of =asphyxiating gas=, the unscrupulous
leaders now made use for the first time of this treacherous weapon.

In accordance with their usual practice, they claimed that the British
used the gas first, and that they used it only in reprisal. Needless to
say, this assertion was pure fiction.

On April 22 the front ran as follows: Belgian troops held the canal; the
French 45th Colonial Infantry Division, resting on the canal, and
passing through Bixschoote, linked up with the troops of the Canadian
3rd Brigade.

Throughout the morning of April 22, the Germans bombarded the first
lines, while the roads behind were swept by the fire of the heavy
artillery, including 16½-in. guns. The bombardment continued into the
afternoon.

Suddenly, at about 4 p.m., there rose from the German trenches, opposite
the lines occupied by the French Colonial troops, a strange opaque cloud
of greenish-yellow fumes. A light breeze from the north-east wafted this
cloud towards the French, who, a few moments later, fell gasping for
breath in terrible agony. Terror spread through the ranks, especially
among the African troops. A panic inevitably followed, which quickly
spread from the front to the rear lines.

Behind that cloud of gas the German troops advanced, protected by a
heavy barrage and intense machine-gun fire.

The French Colonial troops fell back several miles towards Ypres, and
the Germans took Steenstraat, Het Sas and Pilkem, together with many
prisoners.

The withdrawal of the French uncovered the left flank of the Canadians,
who were on their right, and they in turn were obliged to fall back,
leaving four guns in the hands of the Germans.

In the afternoon the Canadians, rallying, took the offensive, recovered
part of the lost ground between Steenstraat and Langemarck, together
with their guns, and inflicted a sanguinary defeat on the Germans.

[Illustration: THE FIRST GERMAN POISON-GAS ATTACK _(April 24, 1915.)_]

Further north, on the Yser Canal, the enemy took advantage of the
disorder caused by the gas to cross at Steenstraat Bridge, and reached
the village of Lizerne near Zuydschoote, where they strongly entrenched
themselves. But Zouaves, aided by Belgians, counter-attacked in force,
retook Lizerne, and advanced along the canal.

The greatest German effort was made on April 25 against the British
lines.

The attacking troops had been grouped on both sides of the railway from
Ypres to Roulers, near Broodseinde, but in spite of fierce attacks they
could not break the British lines, and once more their dastardly methods
failed them.

At the end of April the front was fixed as follows: from Steenstraat the
line followed the canal as far as Het Sas Bridgehead and then passed
along the right bank to Pilkem (on the opposite bank). Here it turned at
right-angles eastwards, as far as Soetart Farm (on the Ypres-Langemarck
Road), turned south-east through Wieltje, then west of Hooge, finally
linking up with Hill 60 and St. Eloi.

The Germans revenged themselves for their failure by again bombarding
Ypres.

The shelling, which had ceased for a time prior to the offensive, began
again with renewed intensity. An enormous quantity of heavy artillery
had been brought up, and large calibre shells were continuously rained
on the unhappy city, causing a panic. The few remaining inhabitants fled
terror-stricken along the Poperinghe Road.

During the last week of April the battle continued with great
bitterness, but in spite of the enemy's use of gas, the Allies gradually
retook the lost ground. Then followed a fresh period of calm, broken
from time to time by fierce attacks, of which that of May 5 on Hill 60
was the most important.

On May 8 the battle broke out afresh in the region lying between
Poelcappelle and the Ypres-Menin Road. The Germans pierced the British
line at several points, notably between St. Julien and Frezenberg, and
reached Wieltje, but after bitter hand-to-hand fighting, they were
driven back to their trenches at the point of the bayonet.

The next day the attack was renewed in close formation, under the
protection of an intense bombardment of gas shells, but the British, now
provided with masks, stood firm. The German columns, mown down by
shrapnel and machine-gun fire, were unable to reach the British
trenches.

The fighting died down during the next few days, on account of rain and
wind storms, which made all movement impossible, but began again on the
24th without, however, any appreciable advantage for the Germans, who
once more took the offensive.

Another period of calm set in, and this Second Battle of Ypres--the
second serious check of the Germans before the town--ended in a
successful operation by the British, who, on June 2, captured the
Château of Hooge on the Menin Road, two miles from Ypres.


=Long period of comparative calm. Isolated actions. Artillery activity
on both sides=
(June, 1915--June, 1917.)

These weeks of fierce, bloody fighting were followed by a long period of
comparative calm, the operations having been transferred to other parts
of the front (Argonne, Artois, Champagne). Nevertheless, local actions
took place from time to time without any appreciable result. From July
22 to 26 the British, after successful mining operations, advanced their
line along the Ypres-Menin Road, in the neighbourhood of Hooge Château.

After being driven from the outskirts of the château by a gas attack on
August 7, they retook the lost ground on the 8th and advanced beyond it.

Towards the middle of September there was a rather severe bombardment
near Steenstraat and Ramscappelle, while Ypres received 300 more shells.

During the latter half of August an Order of the Day to the German
Armies in Flanders stated: "_Our work is practically finished in the
East, and we are on the point of beginning in the West; peace in October
is certain._"

[Illustration: THE FRONT LINE FROM JUNE 1915 TO JUNE 1917]

In December, a new offensive by the Germans failed, despite the use of
gas. There was unusual artillery activity, all the heavy guns, both
German and British, being brought into action.

On December 30, Field-Marshal French received the title of "Viscount of
Ypres," in commemoration of the vigorous British defence of that city.

On February 12, 1916, the Germans launched fresh attacks in the west,
near Steenstraat and Het Sas, and attempted to cross the Yser. After
being smartly checked, they furiously attacked the British trenches
between the Ypres-Comines Canal and the railway, and succeeded in
capturing one of them for a length of 600 yards. This trench, on
account of its frequently changing hands, came to be known as the
"International Trench." A few days later (March 2) the British retook
it.

The struggle now became limited to a continuous artillery duel, with
occasional surprise infantry attacks. The hamlet of St. Eloi to the
south was the scene of constant fighting for the possession of the
shell-craters.

On April 19, the fighting assumed a more serious character. An
unimportant German attack near St. Eloi and along the Ypres-Langemarck
Road was the prelude to operations by considerable enemy forces, having
for their objective the great undulating slopes between Hill 60 and
Armentières.

[Illustration: BRITISH DEFENCE WORKS IN FRONT OF YPRES]

The first of these attacks took place on April 25, 1916, but failed. Two
days later a night attack with gas was repulsed with hand grenades.

A third attempt was made in May, 1916, more to the south towards
Armentières, on the sides of the road connecting that town with Ypres.
The British, entrenched in a wood near Ploegsteert Village, were
assailed by three German columns, and were only able to repulse two of
them. The third took the position, but Scottish troops counter-attacked
and drove the Germans back.

The most important of the enemy attacks during this period took place on
June 1. The preparations included a concentration of troops between
Tournai and Baisieux, from May 21 to 27, supported by guns of all
calibres. The attack was carried out in considerable strength between
Hooge and the Ypres-Comines Railway.

The artillery preparation began at 9.15 a.m. on June 1, and at noon the
first assaulting wave entered the front-line trenches. The battle died
down for a few minutes in the evening, only to break out again during
the night. The Germans succeeded in crushing in the front to a depth of
some 700 yards in the direction of Zillebeke, but the next day a portion
of the lost ground was retaken by the Canadians.

[Illustration: THE FLANDERS BATTLEFIELD IN WINTER]

On June 6, a fresh assault began, preceded by the usual bombardment, and
further assisted by mine explosions. The front line trenches to the
north of Hooge were lost; but on the 13th the valiant Canadians, who had
previously recaptured the original positions abandoned on June 1,
resumed the offensive, and re-established the lines from the southern
part of Sanctuary Wood to a point 1,000 yards north of Hill 60.

Throughout the days of June 26 and 28 there was an extremely violent
bombardment, to which the British guns replied effectively. The Germans,
whose losses from the attacks and this artillery fire were very heavy,
declared: "_Belgium will be our grave._"

These were the last operations in which the enemy took the offensive.
All their efforts had failed, whether their object had been to turn the
left flank of the Allies, to break the lines around Ypres, or merely to
take the town.



=THE ALLIED OFFENSIVE OF 1917=


_Series of powerful attacks with limited objectives. From June to
October, the stages of the offensive were punctuated by breathing
spaces, during which the conquered ground was consolidated, in view of
counter-attacks, and the artillery brought up, to prepare the following
attack._


=Preliminary Operations=
=The Capture of Messines Ridge by the British=
(June 7, 1917.)

From July, 1916, to May, 1917, the Ypres sector remained comparatively
quiet. There were few attacks on either side, but the guns thundered day
and night. It may be said that the British were "trying their hand."

In June, 1917, certain at last of their strength, they made their first
big effort, and step by step, in accordance with a carefully worked-out
plan, they completely liberated Ypres by a series of offensives lasting
four months, and broke the iron circle which, for two years, had been
strangling the town.

For several months before the battle, the attack on Messines Ridge had
been carefully planned by means of a model in relief, situated in the
open air and covering an area about equal to that of a tennis court.
Here were reproduced in relief all the contours and peculiarities of the
ground. Everything, down to an isolated tree trunk, was reproduced.

British effort took definite shape for the first time on June 7. The
attack, planned by Sir Douglas Haig, had for its objective the capture
of the crests between Wytschaete and Messines, which the Germans had
seized on November 1, 1914.

For seven days an artillery preparation of incredible intensity hammered
the villages of Messines and Wytschaete, until they had completely
disappeared.

On June 7, about an hour before dawn, at 3.10 a.m., the sky was lit up
by an intense light, while a series of terrific explosions were heard;
nineteen mines, some of whose galleries had taken more than a year to
bore, exploded along the enemy positions.

The Germans were taken completely by surprise, and gave way before the
impetuous onrush. In a few minutes their first line was carried along
the whole of the attacked front. Then, almost without a pause, the
British troops attacked the western slopes of the Messines-Wytschaete
Ridge, and by about 6.30 a.m. held the crests along the whole line.

The village of Messines offered resistance, but was captured by the New
Zealanders in a vigorous attack, as was also the village of Wytschaete.
By noon the second stage of the offensive was about to begin.

Descending the eastern slopes of the ridge the British carried a second
strong position, then attacked a fresh line--chiefly in Rayon Wood--in
which were large shelters of reinforced concrete, each capable of
holding a company. At about 4 p.m. Oosttaverne Village, lying west of
the centre of the position, fell. At sun-down the day's objectives had
been completely attained, and the advance at certain points exceeded two
miles in depth.

This fine success was due to the carefully detailed preparation carried
out under the orders of General Herbert Plumer, to the destructive
effect of the mines, to the violence and precision of the bombardment,
to the excellent co-operation of the Air Forces, and to the harmonious
working together of all arms. The tanks rendered excellent service.

[Illustration: THE BRITISH OFFENSIVE OF JUNE 7, 1917, AGAINST MESSINES
RIDGE, PRECEDED BY THE FIRING OF NINETEEN ENORMOUS MINES]

The Germans made an effort to rally, but their first counter-attacks,
near Oosttaverne and to the east of Messines, failed.

At about 7 p.m., on June 8, a fresh German counter-attack was launched
along the whole of the new front between St. Yvon and the Ypres-Comines
Canal. Other engagements were fought to the east of Messines and near
Klein Zillebeke. Although reinforced by fresh divisions, the German
attack was broken by midnight.

Resuming their offensive, the British, on the morning of June 11,
captured the whole system of German trenches, nearly a mile in length,
situated near Poterie Farm, to the south-east of Messines. The next day
fresh progress was made along nearly two miles of the front to the
north-east of Messines, and the hamlet of Gapaard occupied.

[Illustration: THE FRONT LINE BEFORE THE ALLIES' OFFENSIVE OF JULY 31,
1917]

After the offensive--limited in scope--of June 7, which reduced the
salient, south of Ypres, the British continued to press the enemy.
Frequent raids kept the Germans on the alert and secured important
_points d'appui_.

On June 14, the Germans were forced to abandon an important part of
their first-line trenches between the Lys and St. Yvon. On the same day
a considerable advance was made east of Ploegsteert Wood, and in the
immediate neighbourhood of Gapaard Village.

During the night of the 14th a double attack was made: one to the east
of Messines; the other along both banks of the Ypres-Comines Canal, to
the north-west of Hollebeke. These attacks gave the British a large
number of trenches, which they held in spite of fierce counter-attacks.

To sum up, during the latter half of June an advance of 500 to 1,000
yards in depth was made along the whole front line between Klein
Zillebeke and the Lys.

The month of July passed in raids, patrols, and reconnoitring,
preparatory to the new offensive of July 31.

This far-reaching offensive, which lasted from July 31 to the end of
October, may be divided into six successive phases, and ended with the
liberation of Ypres.


=First Phase=
(July 31--August 15.)


=Capture of the First and Second German Lines=

When the battle began, the firing line extended from Dixmude, along the
Yser Canal, then followed the Yperlée River, on the left bank of the
Yser Canal. It next passed through Lizerne to Het Sas, whence it
followed the canal to Boesinghe. Opposite this village the line crossed
the canal and the Ypres-Bruges railway, then passed the Quatre-Chemins
cross-roads, descending thence to Essenfarm and Kruppfarm, which lie on
either side of the Pilkem Road. Continuing west of Wieltje Village, it
passed south of Verlorenhoek Château, skirted Verlorenhoek Village, and
descended west of Hooge, after crossing the Ypres-Roulers railway. It
next skirted the northern part of Sanctuaire Wood, then entered the
latter, coming out to the south of Zwateleen. From there, the line
extended southwards, passing west of Hollebeke, east of Gapaard, and
skirting the eastern fringe of Ploegsteert Wood.

During the fortnight preceding the offensive, changes were made in the
order of the forces holding the line.

British troops relieved the Belgians and French who had been operating
near the coast, in the direction of Lombaertzyde. Moreover, the French
forces, placed at the disposal of General Anthoine, had taken up
positions between the Belgians and the British from Reninghe to
Elverdinghe.

[Illustration: FIRST STAGE OF THE ALLIES' ADVANCE FROM JULY 31 TO AUGUST
11, 1917 (31/7--11/8)]

At 4 a.m. on July 31, in spite of unfavourable weather, the British
troops, under the command of Generals Plumer and Gough, co-operating
with the Franco-Belgian troops led by General Anthoine, attacked in
force along a front of fourteen miles from Dixmude to the Lys.

In the French sector, the greater part of the troops had crossed the
Yser during the night. The artillery then pounded the first and second
German lines, and as soon as the range had been lengthened, the infantry
dashed forward. At the scheduled hour the first and second enemy lines
from Dixmude to Bixschoote, to a depth in places of almost two miles,
were occupied, while Bixschoote, Steenstraat, and Kortekeer Inn fell.

The British were on the right of the French. The Ypres-Roulers Road
formed the axis on which their attack turned. On the left of this road
they pierced the German lines to a depth of nearly two miles, and
occupied the bridges over the Steenbeek Canal. Several villages were
captured: Verlorenhoek, Frezenberg, St. Julien, Pilkem, in addition to a
large number of fortified farms and woods.

On the right of the Ypres-Roulers Road, the British encountered a very
strong resistance. The ground, more broken than that on the other part
of the battle-front, and also intersected with woods, enabled the
Germans to keep several _points d'appui_. Despite the fiercest fighting,
it was impossible to drive them out of part of the second position on
the right wing. Nevertheless, an advance of about a mile in depth was
made in this sector, and the village of Hooge and Sanctuary Wood were
captured.

On their extreme right the British had captured Hollebeke Village early
that morning.

The next day (August 1), the Germans replied but feebly in the French
sector, while in the British sector, in spite of the rain, they
counter-attacked with the greatest fury.

Near St. Julien the line fell back slightly, but along the rest of the
front the positions were fully maintained.

The first phase in the liberation of Ypres was over.

In forty-eight hours, the offensive, methodically prepared and carried
out, had attained the objectives, given the Allies more than 6,000
prisoners and an immense quantity of stores.

During the following days, in spite of torrential rain, the Germans
attempted unsuccessfully to retake the lost ground, some of the attacks
being particularly fierce.

In the sector held by the French troops there was little more than a
heavy bombardment on either side. French raids on fortified farms held
by the Germans resulted in slight progress being made to the north of
Bixschoote and Kortekeer Inn.

The British, on the other hand, had to face strong counter-attacks. On
August 1, the Germans succeeded in regaining a footing in their old
advanced positions along the Ypres-Roulers Road. On the 2nd, the British
lines between St. Julien and the Ypres-Bruges railway were attacked in
force. The village of St. Julien was lost, but was finally retaken on
the 3rd. On the 4th, the British line was advanced beyond St. Julien.

On August 5, during a fresh attack on both banks of the Ypres-Comines
Canal, the Germans retook Hollebeke, but were driven out almost
immediately.

On the night of the 5th they again attacked Hollebeke, but without
success.

On the 10th, an interesting operation was carried out by the British.
The front attacked was shorter than in the offensive of July 31, and
extended about a mile and a half to the south of the Ypres-Roulers Road.

Early in the morning the British were in complete possession of Westhoek
Village, after which a violent struggle took place for the high ground
round the village. By evening all the objectives had been attained,
including the capture of Westhoek Crest and Glencorse Wood.

August 12 was marked by six enemy counter-attacks, which caused a slight
withdrawal of the line to the south of Glencorse Wood. Everywhere else
the Allies' positions were fully maintained.


=Second Phase=
(_August 15--September 19, 1917._)

The Allies resumed their offensive on August 15 along a front of some
nine miles, from the Yser Canal to the Ypres-Menin Road.

The attack began at 4.45 a.m. The French attacked on both sides of the
Steenstraat-Dixmude Road, crossing the Steenbeek stream in the morning.
Driegrachten Bridgehead was taken after hand-to-hand fighting, while in
the evening the whole of the strip of ground between the Yser and the
Martjet-Vaart Canal was in the hands of the French.

The British operating on the right of the French rapidly attained their
first objectives, then vigorously following up this first success, they
took by assault the village of Langemarck and its strong defences,
advanced 800 yards beyond the village and captured the whole system of
trenches.

To the south, along the Ypres-Menin Road, the struggle was more
stubborn, the Germans resisting desperately. A series of furious
counter-attacks enabled them finally to preserve their line practically
intact in this district.

The day's captures included more than 2,000 prisoners, of whom thirty
were officers, and twenty-four guns, including several of large calibre.

Desperate fighting continued until September 19 without, however,
altering the positions established on August 15.

On August 19, the British, by small local attacks, advanced about 500
yards on the Ypres-Poelcappelle Road and captured several fortified
farms.

The Germans made desperate efforts to hold the high wooded ground
comprising Polygone and Inverness Woods, near the Ypres-Roulers Road.

On the 22nd the fighting increased in fierceness. The British advanced
only with great difficulty, and the eastern edges of Inverness Wood were
hotly contested.

In these combats, from which neither side gained any decisive advantage,
the Germans made use for the first time of liquid fire, thanks to which
innovation they succeeded temporarily in retaking the north-western
corner of Inverness Wood, but were soon driven out.

[Illustration: SECOND STAGE: THE ATTACK OF AUGUST 15 (15/8)]

Further north, the British, on August 24 and 25, advanced their lines to
the north of St. Julien and Langemarck.

During the following days, persistent rains prevented any further
operations. Infantry actions were now succeeded by continuous
bombardments on both sides, and by isolated raids.


=Third Phase=
(_September 20--October 3, 1917._)

On September 20 a fresh offensive was begun along the whole front from
Langemarck to the Ypres-Menin Road, a distance of eight miles.

The part assigned for the French troops under General Anthoine was
merely to protect the left wing of the British Army which, pivoting on
Hollebeke, was to wheel and advance its marching wing in a direction at
right-angles to the Zonnebeke-Gheluvelt line.

All the objectives were attained at an early hour.

Inverness Wood, which had been hotly disputed for the six previous
weeks, was taken by the London troops.

The Australians retook by assault Glencorse Wood--lost a few days
before--and Nonnes Wood. The Scottish and South African Brigades
captured the fortified farms of Vampire and Borry, and the Potsdam and
Anzac Redoubts. Lancashire Territorials carried Iberian Farm and next
day (the 21st) Gallipoli Farm.

The British then attacked the second German lines. On the right the
Territorials[1] fought violent engagements to the north of the bend in
the Ypres-Comines Canal, near Klein Zillebeke, and in the vicinity of
the position known as Tower Hamlet.

In the centre, progress was more important. The ground hereabouts rises
in a small plateau about 220 feet in height, which dominates the whole
battlefield and extends in two long spurs: one running north-east
towards Zonnebeke, the other southwards towards Menin. The Germans had
fortified these positions very strongly and withdrawn their main line of
defence to the eastern edge of the plateau, _i.e._ opposite the side by
which the enemy must attack. This line protected the village of
Zevenkote and the western edge of Polygone Wood, leaving in front the
woods of Nonnes, Glencorse and Inverness, and Herenthage Park, the
eastern edge of which latter it followed. The woods were strongly
fortified, and the British had twice previously (July 31 and August 16)
vainly endeavoured to capture them.

It was the Northern troops and the Australians who carried these
positions, advancing to a depth of 1,700 yards and taking Veldhoek and
the western part of Polygone Wood--the principal centre of the German
resistance. Further north, Zevenkote was captured and the London
Territorials, supported by the Highlanders, seized a second line of
farms.

In the evening of September 20, the front ran approximately as follows:
from Rose Farm (700 yards west of Poelcappelle) to Fokker Farm (on the
eastern edges of Zevenkote); across the western part of Polygone
Wood--including Veldhoek--then to the east of Herenthage Château, and
ending at Hollebeke.

The Germans, in their costly and unsuccessful efforts to retake the lost
positions, suffered exceedingly heavy losses, without gaining any
advantage.

On the morning of the 26th the British continued their attack along a
five-mile front, from the east of St. Julien to Tower Hamlet near the
Ypres-Menin Road.

The rest of Tower Hamlet Spur was captured, in addition to the whole of
Polygone Wood.

Further north, a fresh advance of 1,700 yards was made, and the strongly
fortified village of Zonnebeke remained in the hands of the British.

Besides the gain in ground, more than 4,000 prisoners were taken.

The Germans, by a series of powerful counter-attacks, sought to win back
the lost positions. On the evening of the 26th, four attacks were made
in the neighbourhood of Tower Hamlet.

[Illustration: THIRD STAGE: BRITISH ADVANCE FROM SEPT. 20 TO SEPT. 26
(20/9--26/9)]

On the 27th they attacked the village of Zonnebeke, while on the morning
of the 30th three attacks were made, without result, on both sides of
the Ypres-Menin Road.

On October 1 the Germans attacked three times on a front of 1,700 yards
to the south of the Ypres-Menin Road, while the same night two fresh
assaults gave no appreciable result.

[Illustration: BATTERY OF BRITISH HEAVY HOWITZERS IN ACTION]


=Fourth Phase=
(_October 4--8, 1917._)

The increasing activity of the Germans did not in any way prevent the
British from preparing a fresh offensive. On the morning of October 4,
English divisions, supported by Welsh, Scottish and Irish battalions,
attacked along a front of ten miles, between Tower Hamlet and the north
of Langemarck. The Germans, disconcerted and surprised by this
unexpected attack--they were themselves preparing to attack with five
divisions--fell back from the beginning of the action.

[Illustration: PART OF THE GROUND COVERED BY THE OFFENSIVE, SEEN FROM AN
AEROPLANE]

A rapid advance of one-half to nearly two miles was made.

South of the Menin Road the objectives were attained almost at the
outset.

To the north of the same road the enemy resistance was more stubborn.
Nevertheless, the villages of Reutel and Polderhoek, together with the
château of that name, were captured, freeing at the same time the top of
the crest, whose eastern slopes run down to the village of Bacelaere.
Further north, the Australians captured Noordhemhoek and
Molenaarelsthoek, reached Broodseinde Crest, and thus advanced beyond
the Bacelaere-Broodseinde Road.

On the other side of the Ypres-Roulers railway, the British drew
appreciably nearer Passchendaele, captured Gravenstafel and a certain
number of fortified farms, and approached the western outskirts of
Poelcappelle.

[Illustration: FOURTH STAGE: THE 4TH OCTOBER, 1917 (4/10)]

In spite of the violent storm which was then raging, all the objectives
were attained and the line of crests conquered.

Owing to the very large numbers of troops massed on the front at the
time of the attack, the German losses, which included 4,500 prisoners,
were particularly heavy.

[Illustration: A DIFFICULT CROSSING. BRITISH AND BELGIAN SOLDIERS]


=Fifth Phase=
(_October 9--12, 1917._)

To completely clear Ypres, a few strongly fortified villages beyond the
line of crests captured on October 4 had still to be taken. These formed
the objective of the attacks of October 9 and 12.

On October 9, in spite of the appalling weather, the British attacked
again on a front stretching from St. Janshoek (a mile north of
Bixschoote) to the south-east of Broodseinde. The French were holding a
front rather less than two miles in length to the north of Bixschoote,
and had for objective the southern edge of Houthulst Forest.

The signal to attack was given at 5.30 a.m. Despite the rain, which had
been falling incessantly for several days, the infantry crossed first
the canal in flood, then a veritable sea of mud, and captured Mangelaere
and Veldhoek. They advanced rather more than a mile and reached the
south-western edge of Houthulst Forest, after having captured numerous
strongly fortified farms and blockhouses.

The British sector extended from the north-west of Poelcappelle to
Broodseinde, and formed a front of some seven miles.

On the right, the Manchester Regiment and the Lancashire Fusiliers
advanced from 1,600 to 2,000 yards in the direction of Passchendaele,
and carried the line beyond the crests occupied on October 4.

In the centre, many farms, redoubts and blockhouses were captured.

[Illustration: FIFTH STAGE: THE BRITISH ATTACK HOUTHULST FOREST AND
APPROACH PASSCHENDAELE]

To the north, the capture of Poelcappelle was completed, the British
joining hands with the French on the outskirts of Houthulst Forest.

More than 2,000 prisoners were taken.

[Illustration: SIXTH STAGE: BY NOV. 6, YPRES WAS COMPLETELY CLEARED]


=Sixth Phase=
(_October 22--November 6, 1917._)

After a short rest, during which the new positions were consolidated--in
view of enemy counter-attacks--the battle broke out afresh on October
22.

The attack of the 22nd was, in reality, only of secondary importance,
but thanks to the progress made, it was possible to carry out the
operations of the 26th on a larger scale than originally intended.

In order definitely to consolidate the captured positions, it was still
necessary to take the village of Passchendaele, which stands on the high
ground dominating the plain of Flanders to the east of Ypres and from
which Roulers is visible.

A fresh offensive was accordingly begun at dawn on October 26.

In the French sector, the troops, after wading through the St. Janshoek
and the Corverbeek streams with the water up to their shoulders, stormed
the village of Draeibank, Papegoed Wood, and many fortified farms.

The next day fresh progress, to a depth of more than a mile, was made on
both sides of the Ypres-Dixmude Road, along a front of two and a half
miles. The villages of Hoekske, Aschhoop, Merckem, and Kippe were
captured, and the western edges of Houthulst Forest reached.

On the 28th, the advance continued on the left, in co-operation with the
Belgians. The French took the village of Luyghem, and the Belgians
Vyfhuyzen.

The British, on their part, advanced in the direction of Passchendaele,
as far as the southern slopes of the village, capturing a whole series
of positions east of Poelcappelle.

On October 30, British and Canadians continued their attacks, and in
spite of the enemy's desperate resistance, reached the first houses of
Passchendaele.

[Illustration: FRENCH TROOPS PASSING IN FRONT OF THE RUINS OF YPRES
CLOTH HALL]

On the following days they improved their positions. The struggle at
this juncture was very bitter, Hindenburg having shortly before issued
an order stating: "_Passchendaele must be held at all costs, and retaken
if lost._"

On the morning of November 6, the British resumed the offensive. The
Canadians, after bloody engagements to the north and north-west of
Passchendaele, captured the hamlets of Mosselmarkt and Goudberg, and
finally carried Passchendaele.

On the evening of November 6, Ypres was completely cleared; and from the
top of the Passchendaele Hills the valiant British troops could see,
stretching away to the horizon, the Plain of Flanders, which had been
hidden from the Allies since October, 1914.

[Illustration: PREPARATION OF THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE OF APRIL 9, 1918. THE
OBJECTIVE]

[Illustration: SCHERPENBERG HILL]


=The German Offensive of 1918=

The front was quiet during the winter of 1917--1918, but 1918 opened
darkly for the Allies.

The Treaty of Brest-Litowsk had sealed the defection of Russia, while
Roumania, reduced to her own resources, was forced to sign the Treaty of
Bukarest. Lastly, invaded Italy was only just recovering from the
disaster at Caporetto. Already, in spite of the terms of the
Brest-Litowsk Treaty, huge masses of troops, guns and stores were being
despatched to the Western Front. The blow fell on March 21, 1918.

The objectives, three in number, were the smashing of the British right
wing at its junction with the French; the separation of the two Allied
army groups; the driving back to the Channel coast of the two British
armies, after they had been surrounded on the south. The long-coveted
road "_Nach Paris_" would then at last be open.

But in spite of their colossal efforts the Germans were held.

By March 31, the German Imperial forces were exhausted, and General Foch
was able to say: "_The wave has spent itself on the beach._" The peril
seemed to be averted.

But the respite was only a short one. The German attack before Amiens
was scarcely stayed (April 6) when the battle suddenly broke out again.
From the Arras sector to La Bassée the whole line was ablaze as far as
the Lys. While, in the first German offensive the British right had
suffered severely, it was against the left wing of the same army that
the new blow was struck.

The new offensive, although quickly prepared, was even more violent than
the first.

On April 9, when the attack began, the German battle-front between the
Lys and La Bassée was held by twenty-one divisions in line and six in
reserve, under the command of Von Quast (VIth Army).

Of these twenty-seven divisions only seven were in line on March 28.

Ten divisions were hurriedly brought up from the Belgian front (IVth
Army--Von Arnim), which was holding the sector from the Lys to the
Channel. Five others were despatched from the Artois front, and, lastly,
five divisions were taken from General Ludendorff's general reserve.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 1: French: troupes des comtés = county regiments.]

[Illustration: ON APRIL 9--20, 1918, THE GERMANS BROKE THROUGH THE
ALLIES' FRONT, SOUTH OF YPRES, AND ADVANCED TO NIEPPE FOREST AND THE
CHAIN OF THE FLANDERS HILLS]



=THE BATTLE OF THE FLANDERS HILLS=


=The Break-Through=
(_April 9, 1918._)

The Germans began the attack on the morning of April 9, after an intense
bombardment with gas shells, and under cover of a dense fog reached the
first machine-guns. The sector was held by Portuguese troops, wedged in
between the British, from Bois-Grenier to Neuve-Chapelle.

On the whole length of front attacked, between La Bassée and
Armentières, in the Plain of Flanders, the only natural obstacles are
the rivers and canals. From the beginning of the battle the Portuguese
were thrown into disorder by the extreme violence of the attack.

The twenty-one German shock divisions attacked in five columns: to the
south, the first column in the direction of Givenchy; the second
(General Kraevel), in front of Festubert; the third (Von Bernhardi)
marched against La Couture and Richebourg-St.-Waast; the Carlowitz
Corps, forming the fourth column, advanced against Estaires in the
direction of Laventie; further north, the fifth column attacked in the
direction of Fleurbaix, outflanking Bois Grenier and Armentières on the
west.

Under the pressure of the attack, a depression was formed in the line.
Fleurbaix, Laventie, Richebourg-St.-Waast and Neuve-Chapelle were lost,
and the Germans reached the Lys between Estaires and the St. Maur Ferry.
To the north of the pocket the Allies resisted successfully at
Fleurbaix; to the south, Givenchy, after a desperate struggle, remained
in the hands of the British.

On the following day the German troops, continuing the push towards the
centre, succeeded in crossing the Lys between Estaires and the St. Maur
Ferry.

The battle extended northwards and the IVth Army (Von Arnim) attacked
between Armentières and Ploegsteert with the Eberhardt, Marschall and
Sieger Corps.

The push continued on the 11th, and Armentières, outflanked on the north
and south, smashed by the shells and drenched with gas, had to be
evacuated.

On their left, the Germans, after crossing the Lawe, north of Locon, two
miles from Béthune, captured Neuf-Berquin and Merville.

Givenchy, held by the British 55th Division, resisted all attacks and
remained in their hands.

On the right, Nieppe and Steenwerk had to be evacuated. The German
advance to the south of Armentières becoming more pronounced, the
British straightened their front, to avoid too sharp a salient, and fell
back to the Messines-Wytschaete Crest.

On the 12th the fighting continued furiously. Advancing along the
Lille-Hazebrouck railway, the Germans reached the outskirts of Nieppe
Forest. South-west of Merville they captured Calonne, and, further
north, approached Bailleul.

North of the Lys, under pressure of Von Arnim's army, the
Messines-Wytschaete Crest, with the wood and village of Ploegsteert, had
to be abandoned. The British line was withdrawn to Neuve-Eglise and
Wulverghem. In these few days the gains of the Allied offensive of the
last five months of 1917 were lost.

The 13th marked the culminating point of the battle in the central
sector. Foch made his dispositions promptly, and French reinforcements
were despatched to the critical points.

Von Bernhardi crossed the Clarence at Robecq on the 13th. On the same
day Von Gallwitz made a strong push northwards between Hazebrouck and
Bailleul, with the object of outflanking the line of the Flanders Hills,
already attacked on the east and north-east by the IVth Army (Von
Arnim).

Battles were fought south of Meteren, at Merris, Vieux-Berquin and on
the eastern outskirts of Nieppe Forest. To the east of Bailleul,
Neuve-Eglise (an important cross-road) was fiercely disputed. After
changing hands many times on the 14th, it was finally abandoned the same
night.

The loss of Neuve-Eglise led to that of Wulverghem, and the British were
forced to fall back to the eastern slopes of Kemmel Hill, the first high
point in the chain of hills called the Heights or Hills of Flanders.
From east to west this chain consists of Rouge Hill (flanked on the
north-east by Scherpenberg), Vidaigne Hill, Noir Hill, Cats Hill, and
lastly by the western bastion of Cassel.

After taking Neuve-Eglise on the night of the 14th, the Germans decided
on a fresh and still more powerful effort.

Three picked divisions were hurled against the hills of Lille and
Ravetsberg, to the east of Bailleul, which fell. The Germans entered
Bailleul, pushing on thence to Meteren, which they also captured. The
next day they tried to develop this success, but instead of the
exhausted British, the Germans now found themselves faced by fresh
French troops. In three days (April 12--14) Pétain had brought up
without a hitch five French divisions and one cavalry corps, which
stayed the German rush at the foot of the hills.

[Illustration: ROUGE HILL, SEEN FROM SCHERPENBERG HILL]

On April 16 the Germans made their first attempt to turn the Flanders
Hills from the south-west in the direction of Hazebrouck.

The French 133rd Infantry Division (Valentin), supported by the British
34th Division, vigorously repulsed the attack.

On the 17th a fresh and more powerful attack was made simultaneously
from the north-east, towards Poperinghe, and from the south, on the
Bailleul-Neuve-Eglise front.

At the same time an independent operation--which failed completely--was
undertaken to the north of Ypres on the Belgian front. The Belgians
repulsed the Germans and took 800 prisoners.

To the south three British divisions (34th, 49th, 19th) stayed the
German advance.

A last effort, starting from Wytschaete, also broke down before the
French 28th Infantry Division (Madelin).

[Illustration: THE GERMANS ATTACK THE CHAIN OF HILLS WHICH PROTECT
YPRES]


=The Capture of Kemmel Hill=
(_April 22--28, 1918._)

A period of comparative calm followed, during which the Germans prepared
a fresh mass attack, in view of the capture of the Hills.

For this new offensive five fresh divisions from Alsace-Lorraine were
brought up, of which two--the IVth Bavarians and the Alpine Corps--were
picked troops. These troops joined the four divisions already in the
sector. The artillery was also considerably reinforced.

During this concentration small local attacks occurred on both sides.

On April 22 and 23 the Germans endeavoured to improve their positions
north of Bailleul, but without appreciable result.

The French, on their part, sought by attacks and raids to impede the
preparations for the coming assault.

At that time the firing line, from west to east, ran as follows: from
Meteren (held by the Germans) it passed north of Bailleul, then crossed
the crest of Lindenhoek at Dranoutre, east of Kemmel, and skirted Groote
Vierstraat and St. Eloi on the east.

The five French divisions which defended the Hills occupied the
following positions:

The 133rd before Cats Hill; the 34th Infantry (Sabatier) before Locre;
the 154th Infantry (Breton) from Dranoutre to the Petit-Kemmel; the 28th
Infantry (Madelin) before Kemmel Hill, its left linking up at Lindenhoek
with the British 9th Infantry Division. The Cavalry Corps was held in
reserve on the Hills.

At 2.30 a.m. on April 25 the attack began with a heavy bombardment, in
which the proportion of gas shells was far greater than previously.

At about 6 a.m. the infantry assault began in a dense fog north and
south of Kemmel Hill.

North of the Hills the "Sieger" divisions, marching west to east, had
orders to capture Kemmel Village, and then, _via_ the Valley of the
Kemmelbeek, join up at Locre with the Eberhardt Divisions, which were
attacking from north to south in the direction of Dranoutre.

On the left of the attacking front, the village of Kemmel was taken by
the Germans, in spite of a heroic defence. Step by step the British 9th
Division was driven back into Kemmelbeek valley and on Dickebusch Pond.

In the centre the enemy storm-troop waves, after several repulses,
finally reached the summit of Kemmel Hill, where a fierce hand-to-hand
encounter took place. In spite of their great heroism, the 30th Infantry
Regiment, outnumbered and almost surrounded, was forced to abandon the
position, but only after a dashing counter-attack by a battalion of the
99th Infantry had failed to extricate them. On the right, the German
Alpine Corps, by a daring manoeuvre, made possible by the fog and the
broken nature of the ground, succeeded in reaching the artillery
positions, which were at once attacked by machine-gun fire. The French
and British batteries, under a storm of bullets, were obliged to
retreat, saving what material they could and blowing up the rest.

The Germans thus reached the village of Locre, which changed hands
several times during the day.

Finally, after a counter-attack, the 154th Infantry Division remained
masters of the village, although the Germans succeeded in holding the
"hospice" at the southern end.

The situation was now critical and the enemy advance had to be checked
at all costs. On the night of the 25th the Allies were reinforced by the
39th Infantry Division (Massenet) at the very moment a fresh German
offensive was being launched. The timely arrival of these troops
effectually stayed the German thrust.

On the evening of the 26th, after much sanguinary fighting, the enemy
paused, exhausted. The French took advantage of the respite to
consolidate new positions.

The 27th was marked only by a violent attack on the extreme left at
Voormezele, where the Germans succeeded in obtaining a footing, only to
be driven out by a vigorous British counter-attack.

As a result of these various battles the new line was as follows: from
Locre Château it ran south of Locre Village, followed Kemmelbeek Valley,
passed in front of La Clytte Village, then south of Dickebusch Pond and
Voormezele Village, joining up with Zillebeke on the south-east.

It was against this new front that the Germans were now preparing a new
offensive.

[Illustration: ON APRIL 29, THE GERMANS LAUNCHED A LAST FURIOUS ATTACK
AGAINST THE HILLS, AND FAILED. EXHAUSTED, THEY THEN ABANDONED THEIR
PLANS FOR TAKING YPRES]



=THE LAST GERMAN ATTACK=
(_April 29, 1918._)


After an artillery preparation lasting all night, the attack began at 7
a.m. on April 29, along a front about eight and a half miles in length,
extending from the Château and Park of Locre to Dickebusch Pond. This
attack, by no less than 120,000 enemy troops, resulted in a crushing
defeat for the Germans.

Both ends of the front stood firm: the British on the left, between La
Clytte and Zillebeke, and the French on the right, in the Château and
Park of Locre. All attacks were vigorously repulsed, and the Germans did
not even reach the Allied lines.

More fortunate in the centre, they succeeded in taking the village of
Locre, and advanced beyond it as far as the cross-ways on the Westoutre
Road, half-a-mile north of Locre. Their success was but short-lived,
however, as a vigorous counter-attack by French Dragoons drove them
back, and at the end of the day all that remained of their gains was a
slight salient near Brulooze Inn. Exhausted, they did not renew their
attack.

The Hill offensive was over. The Germans had destroyed Ypres, but could
not enter the ruined city.

[Illustration]



=THE ALLIES' VICTORY OFFENSIVE OF AUGUST--OCTOBER, 1918=


After the German setback of April 29, the initiative passed into the
hands of the Allies.

On April 30, the French 39th Infantry Division reduced the Brulooze Inn
salient. During the following week numerous local engagements enabled
the Allies to recapture several fortified farms and _points d'appui_,
and generally to consolidate their positions. An attack by the British,
on July 19, to the north of the Lys, advanced their lines two and a half
miles, and gave them the village of Meteren. Then followed a lull, which
lasted until the speeding-up of Foch's offensive rendered the German
positions untenable and forced the conquered enemy back towards the
Rhine.

After the Allies' victorious counter-thrust had flattened out the
"pocket" made by the German Spring offensive near Amiens, the battle
quickly spread over the whole front, including Flanders.

East of Nieppe Forest and Hazebrouck, the British, pressing forward
towards Armentières, advanced beyond Vieux-Berquin in the direction of
Merville. On August 18, they joined battle between Vieux-Berquin and
Bailleul, on a front of four miles, and captured the village of
Outtersteene. The next day they entered Merville.

[Illustration: GERMAN POSITION NORTH OF YPRES, CAPTURED BY BELGIAN
TROOPS ON SEPT. 8--9, 1918]

On September 1, the British had reached the line: La Bassée, Laventie,
Steenwerke, Neuve-Eglise and Wulverghem, on both sides of the Lys. On
the following day, Estaires was outflanked south of Lens, and the famous
Hindenburg line passed. Noreuil, Villers-au-Flos (south of Quéant), Le
Transloy, Sailly-Saillisel and Allaines (south of the Bapaume-Cambrai
Road) were next captured. Further south the storming of Quéant by the
Canadians, who then advanced beyond, and approached Marquion, opened the
road to Cambrai.

On September 4, the British reached the Canal du Nord, and crossed it at
several points. On the following day, they regained possession of their
old lines on both sides of the Lys, from Neuve-Chapelle to Givenchy, and
captured Ploegsteert Village. On September 10, south-west of Cambrai,
Gouzeaucourt Wood and the old line of trenches dominating Gouzeaucourt
Village, as well as the outskirts of Havrincourt Wood were occupied.

The general offensive was to be launched a few days later, in
co-operation with the Belgian Army and some French units.

On September 28, the Belgian Army and the British Second Army (General
Plumer), commanded by King Albert, marched against the army of Von
Arnim. The British, covered on the north by the Belgians, began a
turning movement in the region of Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing.
Houthulst Forest, the crests of Passchendaele and Gheluvelt, and Dixmude
were carried with fine dash. Crossing the Lys on the following days
between Wervicq and Comines, the British now drew near to Menin. On
October 1, the Germans were in full retreat on a wide front north and
south of the Bassée Canal, all their positions between Armentières and
the south of Lens being now abandoned.

[Illustration: DESTROYED BRITISH TANK SUNK IN THE MUD AT THE ENTRANCE TO
POELCAPPELLE]

On October 9, the Canadians of the First Army occupied Cambrai. On the
13th, the British reached the gates of Douai and occupied the banks of
the Haute-Deule Canal from Douai to Vendin-le-Vieil.

Elsewhere, the British Second Army, after capturing Menin and Wervicq,
obtained a footing on the right bank of the Lys, then crossed the river
between Menin and Armentières, thus forcing the Germans to abandon the
line of the Haute-Deule, and taking the Lille-Tourcoing in the rear.

The British army and some French units occupied Lille--capital of the
north--on October 17, and the same days the Germans evacuated Douai.
Roubaix and Tourcoing were liberated the next day, and Denain,
Marchiennes and Orchies on the 21st and 22nd.

The Western suburbs of Valenciennes were fiercely disputed, being
finally retaken on November 2 by the Canadian troops under General
Currie.

A few days later the Armistice was signed, and the victory of the Allied
armies sealed.

[Illustration: FIRST ITINERARY FOR VISITING THE BATTLEFIELD]

[Illustration: GERMAN OCCUPATION OF LILLE. TROOPS PARADING IN THE GREAT
SQUARE
_From the Michelin Guide: "Lille, before and during the War."_]



VISIT TO THE BATTLEFIELD


A visit to Ypres Town and Salient requires two days, and may be made
most conveniently by taking Lille as the starting-point.

_First Day_: Visit Messines, Wytschaete, Houthem, Zondvoorde, Gheluvelt,
Becelaere, Zonnebeke, Passchendaele, Langemarck, Ypres, Zollebeke and
Hooge, spending the night at Poperinghe.

_Second Day_: Visit the Hills: Scherpenberg, Vidaigne, Rouge and Kemmel;
then, after re-crossing the French frontier, those of Cats and Noir,
returning to Lille for the night, via Armentières, Estaires, Béthune and
La Bassée.



=FIRST DAY: LILLE--YPRES=
(_See Itinerary, p. 47._)


Starting-point: The Grande Place, Lille.

_Take Rue Nationale to the end, go round Place Tourcoing, take Rue de La
Bassée on the left, then the first turning on the right (Rue de
Turenne), Canteleu Gate, and Rue Lequeux. Cross the bridge over the
Haute-Deule Canal, and turn to the left into N. 42._

_At Canteleu follow the tram-lines leading to Lomme. At the end of the
village, cross the railway (l. c.). Go through Lomme by Rue Thiers,
leaving the church on the right_ (transept greatly damaged).

On the left are the burnt ruins of a large spinning mill. In the fields:
numerous small forts of reinforced concrete, which commanded all the
roads into Lille. The road passes through a small wood, in the
right-hand part of which are the ruins of Premesques Château, of which
only the façade remains. Further on, to the left, is Wez Macquart, whose
church was badly damaged. Trenches lead to the road, while in the
fields, traces of the violent shelling are still visible.

_Pass through Chapelle d'Armentières (completely destroyed). After
crossing the railway (l. c.), a British cemetery is seen on the right._
=Armentières= _lies on the other side of the next level crossing._

_After entering_ =Armentières=, _and immediately beyond the railway,
take Rue du Faubourg de Lille, leaving the Church of St. Roch on the
right. After passing a public washing-place, turn to the right into the
Rue de Lille, then cross the Grande Place._ Here will be seen the
Hôtel-de-Ville, completely ruined. _Take a few steps along Rue de
Dunkerque, then turn into the first street on the right, which leads to
the Place de l'Eglise St. Waast._


=Armentières=

Armentières suffered in many wars, being taken by the English in 1339,
by the French in 1382, by the Calvinists in 1566, by Marshals de Gassion
and De Rantzau in 1645, and by the Archduke Leopold in 1647.

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES (_ancient engraving_)]

Occupied by the Germans in August, 1914, it was retaken in September.
Nearly four years later (April, 1918) it again fell into the hands of
the enemy. On October 2, it was finally liberated by General Plumer's
army.

Until the later war, Armentières had preserved its 17th century belfry
of chimes, its church of Nôtre-Dame, and another church dedicated to St.
Waast--patron saint of the town.

This personage, to whom many of the churches in this district have been
dedicated, was Bishop of Arras in the 6th century. While still a priest,
he is said to have cured a blind beggar in the presence of Clovis. This
miracle was one of the causes which led to the conversion of the king,
to whom St. Waast acted instructor in the Faith.

The town also possessed a national technical school, dating from the
previous century.

[Illustration: VIEW OF ARMENTIÈRES (_before the War_)
THE RIVER LYS AND ST. WAAST CHURCH (_Cliché LL._)]

Belfry, churches, schools and houses are all in ruins.

In everything connected with the spinning and weaving of linen
Armentières, like Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing, and the whole of Northern
France in general, was considerably in advance of Germany. Consequently,
the Germans destroyed all the mills, factories and metallurgical works,
and what machinery could not be taken to pieces and sent to Germany they
ruthlessly smashed.

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. ST. WAAST CHURCH AS THE GERMANS LEFT IT
(_Compare with photo, p. 50._)]

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES AND THE RIVER LYS]

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. THE HÔTEL-DE-VILLE AFTER THE FIRST
BOMBARDMENT]

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. BEFORE RETREATING, THE GERMANS MINED THE
TOWN]

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. NÔTRE DAME CHURCH WAS NOT GREATLY DAMAGED BY
THE BOMBARDMENTS (_see below_)]

_Visit the ruins of_ =St. Waast Church=, _then return to Rue de
Dunkerque. There take the first street on the right and cross the Lys._
From the Bridge there is a general view of the church.

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. NÔTRE-DAME CHURCH, WHICH THE GERMANS BLEW UP
BEFORE BEING DRIVEN OUT OF THE TOWN (_see above_)]

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. RUE NATIONALE, AS THE SHELLS LEFT IT]

[Illustration: ARMENTIÈRES. RUE DE LILLE IN RUINS]

[Illustration: BIZET. POST ON THE FRONTIER
_On the left of motor-car_: TEMPORARY CUSTOM HOUSE]

_Cross the Cloth Market, then follow the tram-lines along Rue de Flandre
and Rue Bizet. Follow the Lys Canal, then cross the new bridge. Go
through Bizet Village_ (badly damaged houses). _Leaving the ruins of the
church on the right, turn first to the right, then to the left_ (the
photograph shows an army hut on the left, now temporarily used as the
office of the Receiver of French Customs). _Cross the frontier a few
yards further on, then at the fork just outside the village, take the
road on the right opposite the Villa des Roses (photo below). Leaving on
the right the road to the gasworks_ (of which nothing is left but a
wrecked gasometer) _the first houses of_ =Ploegsteert= _are reached._
This village lay west of the first lines in May, 1918, and was captured
by the Germans on April 12 (see p. 39).

[Illustration: BIZET. END OF VILLAGE, GOING TOWARDS PLOEGSTEERT
_Take the right-hand road._]

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY AT THE ENTRANCE TO PLOEGSTEERT]

[Illustration: MESSINES ROAD (_seen from the Château de la Hutte_)
_In the background_: MESSINES RIDGE]

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY ON THE PLOEGSTEERT ROAD AT MESSINES]

British cemetery No. 53 (photo, p. 56) lies at the entrance to the
village. _Go straight through the village_ (in ruins). _On leaving it_,
Cemetery No. 54 is seen on the right, then beyond a large concrete
shelter, Cemetery No. 55. Cemetery No. 56 is on the left, beyond the
level-crossing.

[Illustration: CROSS-ROADS AT NÔTRE-DAME-DE-GRÂCE
_The Messines Road (bordered with tree stumps) was not practicable for
motors in June, 1919. Take the Neuve-Eglise Road on the left (see
Itinerary, p. 47)._]

_Cross Ploegsteert Wood, leaving the road to Petit-Pont Farm on the
left. Here the road rises._ To the left, on the slopes of Hill 63, are
seen the ruins of La Hutte Château. On the crest opposite stand the
ruins of Messines (photo above). In June, 1919, it was not possible to
go direct to Messines, the road being cut at the Petite Douve stream.

[Illustration: AMONG THE RUINS OF MESSINES
_The motor takes the left-hand road to Wytschaete (see p. 47)._]

_Follow the road as far as the fork to the place called
Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce_ (the ruins of the chapel are barely
distinguishable), _then take the Neuve-Eglise road on the left._ Stop
the car at Rossignol terre-plein and walk a few yards into the little
wood on the right; numerous concrete shelters, from the top of which
there is a very fine view over the Hills Kemmel, Rouge, Noir and Cats.
The last-named can be recognised by its abbey, which stands out against
the sky.

_Return to the car. The road now descends. Passing by a few ruined
houses--all that remain of the hamlet of Haubourdin--a fork is reached,
where take the Neuve-Eglise-Messines road on the right._ British
cemetery on the right. _Cross the Douve river, then the railway (l. c.).
Turn to the right at the first ruins of Wulverghem, then go through the
village, passing in front of the cemetery. Next cross the Steenbeck, by
the St. Quentin Bridge. The road now rises sharply to the crest on which
Messines used to stand._ Numerous small forts are seen to the right and
left. These machine-gun nests are all that now mark the site of the
village.

At the entrance to the village leave the car at the junction of the
Ypres-Armentières and Neuve-Eglise-Warneton roads, and visit these
pathetic ruins on foot.

=Messines= maybe regarded as one of the hinges of the "Ypres Salient."
An important strategic point, it was hotly disputed throughout the war.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO WYTSCHAETE
_The motor takes the right-hand road to Oosttaverne (see p. 47)._]

On November 3, 1914, during the First Battle of Ypres, it fell into the
hands of the enemy. At four o'clock on the following day, the ground
between this village and Hollebeke (some four miles to the north) was
the scene of several furious attacks (see p. 8).

Messines was destroyed by the British bombardment during the offensive
of June, 1917. The New Zealanders captured it on June 7, in spite of a
stubborn defence. They also took the neighbouring village of Wytschaete
(see p. 20). Messines again fell into German hands in April, 1918 (see
p. 39), and was finally retaken on September 30 during the last battle
(see p. 46).

_Return to the car and take the Ypres road on the left_ (photo, p. 58).
Along this road are numerous little bridges thrown across the
shell-holes.

=Wytschaete=, which is soon reached, was captured, like Messines, in the
first battle of 1914, and retaken by the New Zealanders on June 7, 1917.
After being entirely destroyed by bombardment (see p. 20), it was lost
again on April 15, 1918, then retaken on September 30, 1918.

_At the fork, just before entering the village_--protected by a series
of powerful blockhouses--_take the road on the right leading to
Oosttaverne_ (now totally destroyed). _Follow the main road_
(Ypres-Warneton) _on the right as far as the place called Gapaard_
(photo below), _then turn to the left along the road to Houthem._ A
series of little bridges over shell-craters full of water--once the
River Wanbecke--are crossed.

[Illustration: GAPAARD. END OF VILLAGE, GOING TOWARDS HOUTHEM]

[Illustration: HOLLEBEKE CHÂTEAU, BEFORE THE WAR. IT HAS BEEN RAZED TO
THE GROUND (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

_Go through Houthem_, which was razed to the ground. Beyond an armoured
shelter built against the brick wall of a house, _the road turns to the
left. Cross the canal by the temporary bridge._

The old bed of the canal is marked by some crumbling blocks of concrete.
_A few yards further on, take the level-crossing over the Ypres-Lille
Railway._ It was on this line that on October 22 and 23, 1914, the
Germans brought up an armoured train which bombarded Ypres with
incendiary shells, causing the first serious damage to the town.

_A few hundred yards beyond the railway turn to the right at the village
of Kortewilde_, where a few wooden houses are being erected among the
ruins. _After crossing a number of little bridges over the Gaverbeck
canal, the road, rising slightly, turns to the right._ At this turning
the Château (photo above) and village of =Hollebeke= ought to be visible
on the left, but this part of the battlefield is in so chaotic a
condition that neither road, canal, nor village can be distinguished.

[Illustration: WHERE GHELUVELT USED TO STAND, ON THE ROAD TO MENIN]

During the first battle (November, 1914) the Germans launched attacks in
great force between Hollebeke and Messines, and captured both these
places. Hollebeke was retaken on July 13, 1917, during the first phase
of the great British offensive for the clearing of the town. After being
lost again in April, 1918, Hollebeke was finally recaptured by the
Allies in October.

_The road first rises, then descends._ On the hillside are the ruins of
Zandvoorde. _At the entrance to the village take the Zillebeke-Wervicq
road on the left, then first to the right, then to the left, between two
wooden houses. The road descends, then, undulating slightly, joins the
main road from Ypres to Menin, opposite Gheluvelt,_ the site of which is
marked by a sign-post.

This was one of the important strategic points in the first German
offensive of 1914 (see p. 7), when the village was captured by the
enemy. During the battle for the clearing of Ypres, fierce fighting took
place to the west of =Gheluvelt=, especially at Tower Hamlet. From
November, 1917, to April, 1918, the firing-line ran through the village.
Gheluvelt was retaken by the British in October, 1918.

_Take the main road from Ypres to Menin on the right. Only at Gheluvelt
will a passable road to Becelaere be found_.

In Gheluvelt, where there are still a few broken walls standing, turn to
the left at the fork in the road, leaving the ruined church on the
right. At the next fork take the right-hand road to the ruined hamlet of
Terhand.

Fifty yards before the crossing with the Dadizelle Road, there is a
German cemetery on the right, containing a remarkable concrete monument,
thirty feet in height, which dominates the whole plain. This monument
(photo, p. 62) was in reality a German observation post. Inside there
were two floors. An outside staircase led to a platform. Traces of the
balustrade are visible in the photo.

[Illustration: ROAD FROM GHELUVELT TO BECELAERE
(_Impracticable for motors in June_, 1919.)]

[Illustration: GERMAN CEMETERY AT TERHAND. DUMMY FUNERAL MONUMENT WHICH
WAS REALLY A GERMAN OBSERVATION-POST]

_Leave the Dadizelle road on the right._ The road hereabouts is
camouflaged. Numerous small forts may be seen on both sides of the
plateau, especially on the right. The largest of them was used as a
telephone exchange.

After passing the place called Molenhoek the tourist comes to the
Passchendaele-Wervicq road, now impassable.

_Leave the car at the fork, and go on foot through the ruins of
Becelaere, as far as the church on the right._

[Illustration: RUINED VILLAGE OF BECELAERE]

_Return to the fork and take the right-hand uphill road._ On the plateau
there are many shelters.

To the west of the road from Becelaere to Zonnebeke lay Polygone Wood,
which was entirely destroyed. The British made two unsuccessful attempts
(July 31 and August 16, 1917) to take this strongly fortified wood,
succeeding eventually on September 20 (see p. 28). Evacuated by the
British in April, 1918, the wood was finally recaptured by the Allies in
October, 1918.

Beyond the place called Noordenhoek there is a bend in the road. On the
left, Zonnebeke Pond, the ruined château, and the remains of a gasometer
come into sight (photo below).

_At the place called Broodseinde take the Ypres-Roulers road on the
left, to visit the ruins of Zonnebeke._

=Zonnebeke= was taken in 1914 by the Germans, who made an outpost of it
in front of their lines. The village was recaptured on September 26,
then lost in April, 1918, and finally retaken in the following October.

_Return to the fork_ (which was commanded by numerous small forts), _and
turn to the left:_ military cemetery at the side of the road. In the
fields on the right, 200 yards beyond the level crossing, there is a
monument to the memory of 148 officers and men of the Canadian 85th
Battalion (photo, p. 64).

Passing through shell-torn country, =Passchendaele=--now razed to the
ground--is reached. All that remains of the church is the mound seen in
the background of the photograph (p. 64).

[Illustration: RUINS OF ZONNEBEKE VILLAGE]

Passchendaele was captured by the Germans in November, 1914, and later
by the British (October 26, 1917). The village had already been wiped
out by the bombardment, but the position, which dominated Ypres and
Roulers, was an important one. The fighting there was of the fiercest,
Hindenburg having ordered it to be held at all costs. However, the
British broke down the enemy's stubborn resistance.

[Illustration: BETWEEN BROODSEINDE AND PASSCHENDAELE. MONUMENT TO 148
FALLEN OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE 85TH CANADIAN BATTALION]

[Illustration: WHAT WAS ONCE PASSCHENDAELE. THE CHURCH WAS ON THE
HILLOCK IN THE BACKGROUND]

[Illustration: WESTROOSEBEKE, SEEN FROM THE RUINED CHURCH]


=From Passchendaele to Ypres=

_Beyond the church turn to the left._ The undulating road goes straight
to =Westroosebeke=.

Westroosebeke was taken at the same time as Passchendaele, during the
British offensive of October 29, 1917. These two positions, lost in
April, 1918, were retaken on September 30 by the Belgian army under King
Albert.

[Illustration: POELCAPPELLE. THE ROAD FROM LANGEMARCK TO DIXMUDE]

The village was completely destroyed. _On entering, turn to the right
and pass the church._ A few broken tombstones mark the site of the
churchyard.

_Retracing his steps, the tourist turns to the right into the
Ypres-Roulers Road_, which describes a bend to reach =Poelcappelle=.
This village was the scene of fierce fighting in December, 1914, and
May, 1915, and is now in ruins. There are numerous redoubts to right and
left. _Just beyond the village, leave the Dixmude Road on the right, and
take the one leading to Langemarck._

Beyond the cross-roads there is a confused heap of rails and broken
trucks in the middle of a piece of shell-torn ground.

_At the fork, take the road to the right and enter the ruined village
of_ =Langemarck=.

The photograph below shows: in the background, a mound formed by the
ruins of the church; in the foreground, a tank.

Langemarck, defended by the French in 1914, was evacuated on December 17
of that year. Recaptured, the town was lost again on April 21, 1915,
during the German gas attack.

_Keep along the road, leaving on the left the ruins of the church, and a
little further on the remains of the château_ (_photo, p. 67_).

_Cross the railway (l. c.) and then go on to_ =Houthulst Forest=,
captured by the Germans in 1914, and retaken in 1918 (see p. 46). In
June, 1919, the roads through the forest were impracticable for
motor-cars.

_Return to the fork at the entrance to Langemarck, turn to the right,
and take the road to Boesinghe, crossing the Hanebeek. The road follows
the Ypres-Thourout railway_, on both sides of which are numerous
redoubts. _Cross the ruins of Pilkem_, 300 yards beyond, which is a
rather large British cemetery.

_At the next fork in the road turn to the right and cross the railway
(l. c.)._ On the left is another cemetery. _Turn again to the left_.
Notice in passing a third cemetery, then a few yards further on the
ruins of a mill. _Cross the canal at the Pont de Boesinghe_.

_On reaching the crossing of the main road from Dixmude to Ypres, turn
to the right._ On the left, the remains of Boesinghe Château stand in
the middle of a park, the trees of which are cut to pieces.

[Illustration: LANGEMARCK, WITH DESTROYED TANK. THE MOUND IN THE MIDDLE
DISTANCE IS ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE CHURCH]

[Illustration: LANGEMARCK CHÂTEAU BEFORE THE WAR
_Now razed to the ground_ (_photo, Antony, Ypres_).]

_Follow the road running along the canal._ The latter, owing to the
upheaval of the ground by shell-fire, is often lost to view. 1,500 yards
from Boesinghe, the site of Het Sas village, where the lock used to
stand, may still be located. The fighting was very severe there,
especially in 1914.

[Illustration: BOESINGHE. RUINED CHÂTEAU AND DEVASTATED PARK]

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO YPRES. YPRES CANAL AT BOESINGHE, SEEN FROM
RUE DE DIXMUDE, YPRES
(_Compare with view below, taken before the War_.)]

_Return to Boesinghe, leave the road just taken on the left, and cross
the railway (l. c.)._

The road runs alongside the Yperlée river and canal for some distance.
Numerous traces of footbridges are to be seen over both river and canal,
the course of which can no longer be distinguished with certainty.

_The road next turns sharply to the left, crosses the Lys-Yperlée Canal,
then passes the dock of the Yser-Ypres Canal_ (photo above), _and
enters_ =Ypres= _by the Dixmude Gate_.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO YPRES BEFORE THE WAR
(_See above--photo, Antony, Ypres_.)]

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW OF YPRES, BEFORE THE WAR (_photo, Antony,
Ypres_)]



=YPRES=


Few names awaken more memories than that of Ypres--a city of
incomparable splendour in the Middle Ages, and of which nothing now
remains but a heap of ruins. Of the last precious traces of this ancient
prosperity, the rich and splendid buildings which filled the mind with
wonder--the immense Cloth Hall, the beautiful cathedral, the churches,
the sumptuous mansions, the sculptured houses--the German guns have
spared nothing. History furnishes few examples of such grandeur followed
by destruction so swift and so complete. Ypres is now but a memory.


=Chief Historical Events=

The Town of Ypres (Latin Ypra, Flemish Ieperen) grew up in the 10th
century around a fortified castle, rebuilt about 958 by Baudoin, Count
of Flanders. This castle had been in existence since the 8th century,
but only the ruins had survived Norman invasions.

The town, favourably situated in the centre of the maritime plain with
its rich grassy meadows intersected by canals, prospered exceedingly. A
numerous population sprang up of merchants and artisans, whose chief
sources of wealth were the manufacture and sale of cloth.

As early as the 12th, but especially in the 13th and 14th centuries,
Ypres, thanks to important privileges granted by the Counts of Flanders,
became a considerable town, and possessed 4,000 looms.

Flanders, the meeting-point of the three great European states--England,
France and Germany--was then the industrial centre _par excellence_ of
the west and the rendezvous of all the merchants of the old world. This
explains the splendour of the towns of Flanders in the Middle Ages, not
only Ypres, but Bruges, Ghent, etc.

This prosperity was often a temptation to the Kings of France, who led
many an expedition into Flanders. Ypres was taken by Louis VI. in 1128,
by Philippe-Auguste in 1213, by Philippe-le-Bel in 1297, but the town
was little damaged in these wars.

It suffered more in the 14th century. Riots, and the siege and
destruction of the town by the people of Ghent in 1383, caused many of
the weavers to emigrate, and left as its only industry the manufacture
of Valenciennes lace. At that time the Counts of Flanders were French
princes. Robert de Béthune was succeeded in 1322 by the Count of Nevers,
whose family reigned until 1384. This dynasty ended with Louis-le-Mâle,
and Philippe-le-Hardi, Duke of Burgundy, became Count of Flanders. Under
the rule of these Dukes, who were fairly wise and moderate
statesmen--Flanders being a source of considerable revenue, and the
Flemish people quick to revolt against any violation of their
privileges--Ypres prospered greatly.

[Illustration: YPRES IN THE 16TH CENTURY]

In 1481 Flanders passed under the rule of Austria (Marie, heiress of
Burgundy, had married the Archduke Maximilian), then in 1558 under that
of Spain. In 1559 it replaced Thérouanne as the centre of the diocese.

At that time it had lost much of its splendour. Towards the end of the
15th century it was depopulated by a dreadful pestilence, and about the
middle of the following century, a second outbreak completed the ruin of
the town. It was just beginning to recover when it was captured by the
_Gueux_ and the troops of the Duc d'Albe and Alexandre Farnèse, who
massacred most of the inhabitants.

In the 17th century Ypres was taken by the French on four
occasions--1648, 1649, 1658 and 1678--finally reverting to France under
the Treaty of Nimègue at about the latter date. Vauban fortified it.
Retaken by the Imperial Troops in 1715, Ypres was restored to France in
1792, and under the Empire became the capital of the Département of Lys.
The treaties of 1815 gave it back to the Netherlands, and since 1830 it
has formed part of the Kingdom of Belgium.

[Illustration: GERMAN BOMBARDMENT OF THE ASYLUM]

In 1914 the population numbered 18,000. Its principal industries were
the manufacture of woollen goods, printed cottons, linens, ribbons, and
Valenciennes lace. Its tanneries and dye works were also of considerable
importance. It was a clean, well-built town, watered by the river
Yperlée. The many arms of the latter ran through the streets of the
town, enabling the boats loaded with merchandise to come right up to the
warehouses.

These waterways are now covered in. Formerly there was a path on each
side of them, which explains the exceptional width of the streets and
squares of Ypres.

[Illustration]



=YPRES=


=A Visit to the Ruins=

_The tourist enters Ypres by the Dixmude Gate._

At No. 54 Rue de Dixmude is the façade of the Maison Biebuygk, on the
right. Built in 1544, this house was one of the most remarkable in
Ypres. Immediately below the gable were two carved medallions
representing the sun and the moon. The great pointed arch which framed
the gable windows gave exceptional grace to the façade (photos, p. 73).

At No. 66 of the same street, on the left, the 18th century façade shown
in the photographs (p. 74), was still standing in July, 1919. It was
decorated with statues of the Virgin Mary and St. François, under fluted
niches with carved borders.

[Illustration: BIEBUYGK HOUSE (_No_. 54, _Rue de Dixmude_), BEFORE THE
WAR. IT WAS ONE OF THE HANDSOMEST HOUSES IN YPRES (_photo, Antony,
Ypres_)]

[Illustration: BIEBUYGK HOUSE, AS THE WAR LEFT IT]

[Illustration: ST. FRANÇOIS SCHOOL, RUE DE DIXMUDE, BEFORE THE WAR
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres_.)]

[Illustration: ST. FRANÇOIS SCHOOL, AFTER THE GERMAN BOMBARDMENTS]

[Illustration: YPRES. THE GRANDE PLACE ON MARKET-DAY, BEFORE THE WAR
(_See below. Photo, Antony, Ypres_.)]

Arriving at the Grande Place, the imposing ruins of the =Nieuwerk= and
the =Cloth Hall= are seen on the right.

[Illustration: WHAT THE GERMAN SHELLS LEFT OF IT (_see above_)]

[Illustration: YPRES. RUINS OF THE CLOTH HALL, SEEN FROM ST. MARTIN'S
CATHEDRAL. FRAGMENTS OF THE LATTER ARE VISIBLE IN THE FOREGROUND]



=THE CLOTH HALL AND THE NIEUWERK=


The Cloth Hall, containing extensive warehouses, in which the sale of
cloth was carried on, was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. It
consisted of a series of buildings grouped around a rectangular court.
The Hall proper was distinguished from a building called the Nieuwerk,
added in the 17th century. The southern building of the hall had a
magnificent façade, flanked on the east by the gable of the Nieuwerk and
surmounted by a large belfry in the centre. Bold turrets stood at both
ends of this façade. Rather spare in ornament, the long succession of
glazed and blind windows constituted the grandeur of the façade. On the
ground-floor, which was lighted by a row of quatrefoil windows in
pointed arches, there were forty-eight rectangular doors.

Above these doors were the high windows of the upper storey, the Hall
having two floors. These windows were alternately glazed and blind--a
method frequently adopted in the Middle Ages, to avoid weakness in the
walls, without detracting from the symmetry of the exterior. This storey
was reached by staircases, access to which was gained through doors at
each end of the façade.

The glazed windows were decorated with three trefoils supported on two
arches. The blind windows were similar to the windows of the
ground-floor, except that the latter were less lofty. The two arches
formed niches, each of which contained a statue: that of a Count of
Flanders (the Counts and Countesses from Baudoin Bras-de-Fer to Charles
Quint were represented) or of a notable citizen of Ypres, such as
Melchior Broederlam, the painter. These statues, some of which were
restored in the 19th century, rested on a corbel apparently supported by
a small figure bearing the coat-of-arms of the sovereign represented.

[Illustration: YPRES. THE CLOTH HALL, NIEUWERK AND CATHEDRAL (in the
background)
_The 13th--14th Hall had a magnificent façade, surmounted by a high
bell-tower_ (_photo, Antony, Ypres_).]

The upper portion of the walls was decorated with an ornamental frieze
and a battlement bordered with fine moulding. The frieze was composed of
a tricusped arcade with small columns carried on corbels with carved
heads.

Behind the battlements ran a sentry-way, while at the ends of the façade
turrets decorated with arcades and surmounted by octagonal spires,
served as watch-towers.

[Illustration: THE WINDOWS OF THE FIRST STORY OF THE CLOTH HALL
_Every alternate window was blind, and was ornamented with statues of
the Counts of Flanders or other notable persons of the city_ (_photo,
Antony, Ypres_).]

The Belfry rose from the centre of the buildings, of which it was the
oldest part, the foundation-stone having been laid by Baudoin =IX=.,
Count of Flanders, in 1201. Square in plan, it consisted of three
stories. Its exterior, like that of the façade, was decorated with
arches, and was lighted with windows ornamented with trefoils. It had
two rows of battlements, four corner-turrets, and a timber-work roof
surmounted by a campanile, above which rose a small spire. At the base
of this campanile there were four copper eagles, dating from 1330. At
the foot of the belfry a door, flanked by two pilasters, led to the
inner court of the Hall. Over this door was a modern statue of
Nôtre-Dame-de-Tuine, with the Lion of Flanders above.

The belfry served all the purposes of a Hôtel-de-Ville (previous to the
14th century there were no Hôtels-de-Ville properly so-called). It was
there that the representatives of the guilds held their meetings, and
that the charters of the guilds were kept in great coffers with manifold
locks. There, also, the archives of the town were stored. The bottom
storey was used as a prison. From the summit, unceasing watch was kept,
to warn the citizens of danger, especially that of fire.

[Illustration: YPRES. ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE FAÇADE OF THE CLOTH HALL]

The roof of the Hall was pitched very high, in order the more easily to
get rid of snow and rain water. It was gilded and emblazoned with the
arms of the city and those of the County of Flanders. This roof, with
its dormer windows, did not cover a stone vaulting, but a panelled
ceiling. Inside the upper storey were large wainscotted galleries,
which, in the 19th century, were divided by partitions and adorned with
mural decorations.

[Illustration: PORTAL OF THE BELL-TOWER
_The collapse of the façade which framed the tower (photo below) left
the latter standing alone. The lower portion still exists, thanks to its
massive construction (photo, Antony, Ypres)._]

[Illustration: THE PORTAL BEFORE THE WAR]

[Illustration: THE PAUWELS ROOM BEFORE THE WAR (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]


=The Pauwels Room=

During the last century, the Hall was frequently restored and
embellished. In 1876 the walls of the eastern half of the southern
building were decorated with twelve mural paintings by Ferdinand
Pauwels, representing the principal events in the history of Ypres, in
the days of its prosperity (1187 to the siege by the people of Ghent in
1383). The artist displayed exquisite taste, especially in the fresco
depicting the "Wedding of Mahaut de Béthune with Mathias de Lorraine."
The western half of the gallery was decorated by the artist Delbecke,
with paintings depicting the life of a cloth merchant. Owing to the
death of the artist, the last picture was never finished. This gallery
was used as a banqueting hall. A number of statues by Puyenbroeck of
Brussels, along the southern façade, had replaced the originals, badly
damaged during the Revolution (1793).

The River Yperlée formerly flowed past the western façade and, until
1848, there was a flight of steps with a double balustrade (17th
century) to facilitate the transfer of merchandise from the boats to the
warehouses.

[Illustration: THE PAUWELS ROOM IN DEC., 1914 (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

[Illustration: THE JUNCTION OF THE CLOTH HALL WITH THE NIEUWERK (_photo,
Antony, Ypres_)]


=The Nieuwerk=

The Nieuwerk did not detract from the imposing appearance of the
southern façade, of which it formed the continuation. Renaissance in
style, the plans are said to have been the work of J. Sporeman (about
1575). Building was begun early in the 17th century and finished in
1624.

The ground-floor formed an open hall, 20 feet in width, the vaulting of
which was carried on slender cylindrical columns, joined by irregular
arcades. The building comprises two stories, the first of which
communicated with that of the Cloth Hall. The large high windows of the
façades were very close together. The roof was pierced with high and
very ornamental dormer-windows.

The Nieuwerk was restored about 1862. In the Chapelle Echevinale,
frescoes by Guffens and J. Swerts, and stained-glass was renovated, and
at the same time a fine fireplace was built by Malfait of Brussels. Old
mural paintings, representing St. Mark and St. John, and a frieze,
depicting the Counts of Flanders from 1322 to 1476, were discovered and
restored. In the middle of the hall stood a small equestrian statue of
John of Brabant (1252--1294) by A. Fiers.

This slightly-built Nieuwerk could not long withstand the bombardment.
The south gable, struck on November 21, 1914, collapsed, while on the
following day the Cloth Hall burst into flames. A few weeks' later the
Nieuwerk was completely destroyed.

[Illustration: THE SHERIFF'S ROOM IN THE NIEUWERK, DECEMBER, 1914
_The collapse of the first floor left visible the remains of the
decoration seen in the photo below (photo, Antony, Ypres)._]

[Illustration: THE SHERIFF'S ROOM IN THE NIEUWERK, BEFORE THE WAR
(_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

[Illustration: OLD HOUSES WHICH, BEFORE THE WAR, WERE THE PRIDE OF THE
VANDENPEEREBOOM SQUARE (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

_Turn to the right in the Place Vandenpeereboom_, formerly an ornamental
pond, now filled in.

Here used to stand a row of old houses with double façade, now
completely destroyed. Here also, to the north of the Cloth Hall, stood
the Cathedral of St. Martin.

[Illustration: ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL]

[Illustration: ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL AS IT WAS
_In the background: the Cloth Hall. Compare with photo below (photo,
Antony, Ypres)._]


=The Cathedral of St. Martin=

The Church of St. Martin (which became a cathedral in 1559) replaced an
older church of the 11th century. Built in the 13th century, its choir
dated from 1221, and its nave from the second half of that century. The
foundation-stone was laid by Marguerite of Constantinople. The western
tower dated only from the 15th century, and replaced a tower which had
collapsed in 1433. The new tower was 175 feet in height, and was to have
been twice as high. Built from the plans of Martin Untenhove of Malines,
it was severe in style.

The plan of the Cathedral was a Latin cross, and terminated in a
semicircular choir. It underwent important restorations during the last
century.

The façade of the south arm of the transept was of unusually great
width.

[Illustration: ST. MARTIN'S CATHEDRAL, AS THE GERMAN SHELLS LEFT IT
_In the background: The Cloth Hall._]

[Illustration: SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE CATHEDRAL, BEFORE THE WAR (_photo,
Antony, Ypres_)]

The central portal was surrounded by a polygonal rose-window and crowned
with a high gable flanked by turrets. Above the side portals, the
surface of which was decorated with arcading, were gables lighted by
rose-windows. This part of the building was probably not earlier than
the 14th century.

There were no radial chapels in this great church. A circulating gallery
running through the buttresses formed an uninterrupted passage around
the building.

At the base of the roof ran an open balustrade, broken at intervals by
the pinnacles which crowned the buttresses.

Above the centre of the transept rose a campanile, surmounted by a very
pointed timber-work spire.

The nave, and more especially the choir, were remarkable. High pillars
with crocketed and foliate capitals supported the springing of the large
irregular arches. Above ran a circulating gallery or triforium. The
pointed arches of the latter were carried by small columns which
originally rested on the wide _abaci_ of the capitals, but several of
them had been cut away and replaced by statues of apostles, evangelists,
or persons of note.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL DOOR
_Seen from the interior_ (_photo, André Schelker_).]

[Illustration: THE NAVE OF THE CATHEDRAL
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._) _Compare with photo below._]

This arrangement is common in Burgundy and, like others to be found in
the Cathedral--the exterior circulating gallery, the interior gallery,
the form of the latter, and various decorative features--show how
strongly French, and especially Burgundian influence preponderated in
Flanders during the 14th century.

The choir was disfigured by an ungraceful 16th century altar. The
stalls, carved about 1598 by C. Van Hoveke and Urbain Taillebert, were
noteworthy, as was also the pulpit--a richly decorated monumental work,
at the base of which stood a life-size statue of St. Dominic.

[Illustration: NAVE OF THE CATHEDRAL RUINED BY GERMAN SHELLS
_Seen from the Choir, near the Porch._]

Urbain Taillebert was also the sculptor of the magnificent "Christ
Triumphant," suspended between the columns of the main entrance; and of
the tomb of Antoine de Hennin, Bishop of Ypres, who died in 1626. The
centre of the tomb represented the bishop in his pontifical robes; _on
the left_, he was seen kneeling in prayer, with his mitre close by; _on
the right_, his patron, St. Anthony, was represented in a hermit's gown,
accompanied by his traditional pig.

[Illustration: CHOIR OF THE CATHEDRAL
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._) _Compare with photo below._]

[Illustration: CHOIR OF THE CATHEDRAL AFTER THE GERMAN BOMBARDMENT
_Seen from the Porch. Compare with photo above._]

[Illustration: THE CHOIR STALLS OF THE CATHEDRAL, BEFORE THE WAR
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._) _See below._]

[Illustration: THE CHOIR STALLS OF THE CATHEDRAL IN JANUARY, 1915
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._) _See above._]

A "Virgin and Child" was fortunately rescued from the ruins of the
Cathedral. It is a Flemish work of the 16th century. A surrounding fence
(_Hortus conclusus_ of the Litanies) is represented on the pedestal
(photo opposite).

Beside the tomb described above was that of Jean Visscherius, Bishop of
Ypres, who died in 1613. The bishop, clothed in his pontifical robes and
wearing his mitre, was represented in a recumbent position, his head
raised on a cushion and supported by his hand (photo below).

There were other tombs in the church, notably that of Louise Delage,
Lady of Saillort, widow of the Chancellor of Burgundy, Hugonnet
(beheaded in 1477).

[Illustration: THE VIRGIN OF ST. MARTIN
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

In the pavement before the altar was the third tombstone of the famous
_Cornelius Jansenius_. It was a simple slab of stone, on which was
carved a cross, and in the four corners the figures 1, 6, 3, 8.
Jansenius, Bishop of Ypres, who died of plague on May 6, 1638, was the
founder of the sect of the Jansenists, which still exists in Holland,
and whose headquarters are at Utrecht. When and how this tombstone was
placed there is not known. It replaced two others removed by
ecclesiastical authority in 1655 and 1673 respectively.

[Illustration: MAUSOLEUM OF JEAN VISSCHERIUS
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

Round the chapel, known as the Dean's Chapel, there was a fine copper
railing decorated with small alabaster figures.

The inner doors of the church were magnificently carved; those of the
south portal, with superimposed figures of saints, were considered to be
marvels of Belgian art.

In the Place Vandenpeerboom, take the Rue de Boesinghe. Leaving the Rue
d'Elverdinighe (see plan, p. 72) _on the left_, the Cattle Market is
next reached, formerly a pond, since filled in. Here were three
guild-houses, Nos. 15, 19 and 21. No. 15 was the Maison des Bateliers,
on whose façade two symbolic boats were depicted. The canal which passed
before the house has disappeared. The date of construction was shown by
anchors fixed in the wall of the second storey: 1-6-2-9. At the top of
the gable there was an involuted niche which probably sheltered the
statue of the patron-saint of sailors (photo opposite). The next house,
part of which may be seen on the right of the photo, was 17th century.

[Illustration: THE MAISON DES BATELIERS (1629)
_Completely destroyed. Note the two emblematical ships on the façade._
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

_Take the road on the left which rejoins the Promenade, and turning
again to the left, skirt "La Plaine d'Amour"_ (photos below and p. 91).
Behind the prison walls there is a British cemetery in the gardens
(photo, p. 91).

[Illustration: THE "PLAINE D'AMOUR," WITH YPRES IN THE DISTANCE,
DEVASTATED BY THE WAR
_Compare with photo opposite._]

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY, BEHIND THE PRISON]

_Turn to the left into the Chaussée de Furnes_, leaving on the left the
reservoir of the ruined waterworks. _Take Boulevard Malou and return to
the Grande Place_, via _the Rue de Stuers and the Rue au Beurre_
(photos, p. 92).

[Illustration: THE "PLAINE D'AMOUR," BEFORE THE WAR
_See photo opposite._ (_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

[Illustration: RUE AU BEURRE, BEFORE THE WAR (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

_Pass the ruins of St. Nicolas Church._

Before reaching the Grande Place the site of the Meat Market (photo, p.
93) is passed.

[Illustration: RUE AU BEURRE, DESTROYED BY GERMAN SHELLS]

[Illustration: THE MEAT MARKET, BEFORE THE WAR
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

[Illustration: THE MEAT MARKET, RUINED BY ENEMY BOMBARDMENTS]

This was an important, two-gabled building of symmetrical proportions.
The lower part of the façade resembled that of the Cloth Hall, but the
upper story and roof of the building were of a later date. The gables,
with stair-like copings, were decorated with blind windows. The lower
storey was of stone, while the gables and the upper part of the façade
were brick.

[Illustration: THE "HOSPICE BELLE" (WOMEN'S ASYLUM), RUE DE LILLE]

The first storey was formerly occupied by the Brotherhood of St.
Michael. The Museum, which was housed there, contained a number of
pictures, interesting drawings of the old wooden fronts of the houses of
Ypres (by L. Boehm), old chests containing the Charters of the Drapers,
pieces of sculpture and wrought ironwork.

Almost directly opposite the Cloth Hall is the Rue de Lille, in which,
on the right, is the =Hospice Belle= (photos, p. 94).

[Illustration: HOSPICE BELLE, BEFORE THE WAR
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

This asylum for aged women was founded about 1279 by Christine de
Guines, widow of Solomon Belle, Lord of Boesinghe, and rebuilt in the
17th century. The façade of the chapel, which faced the Rue de Lille,
contained twin doors, surmounted by a large stained-glass window set in
a radiating flamboyant framework. In addition to the statue of St.
Nicholas (against the central mullion of the stained-glass window), the
lower part of this façade was embellished with statues, in Renaissance
niches, of the foundress and her husband. Above the window was an
_oculus_, the decoration of which was mingled with that of an escutcheon
immediately beneath it, on which the date "1616" could still be
deciphered.

[Illustration: VAULTING OF THE OLD FRENCH BARRACKS]

Inside the chapel were a 17th century portable confessional (a very
curious specimen of carved woodwork), 15th century copper candelabra,
and a line picture attributed to Melchior Broederlam. This artist, whose
works are very rare, was a native of Ypres. He preceded J. van Eyek as
official painter to the Dukes of Burgundy. This picture was saved.

On the right of the street, in the midst of the ruins, can be seen the
broken-in vaulting of the old French Barrack (photo above), and on the
left, the =Hôtel Merghelynck=.

[Illustration: HÔTEL MERGHELYNCK, BEFORE THE WAR
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

The latter charming 18th century house stood at the corner of the Rue
des Fripiers. It was built (1774--1776) from the plans of Thomas Gombert
of Lille, and its last proprietors had converted it into an interesting
museum.

It was decorated with woodwork, panelling, and Louis XVI. medallions by
Ant. Jos. de la Dicque.

[Illustration: THE TEMPLARS' HOUSE IN THE RUE DE LILLE]

The stucco ornamentation was the work of Grégoire Joseph Adam of
Valenciennes. The staircase balustrading was by Jacques Beernaert.

[Illustration: WOODEN HOUSES IN THE RUE DE LILLE
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

[Illustration: ST. PETER'S CHURCH (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

A white stone vase, carved from designs by Rubens, stood in the fine
court of the house.

Almost opposite, at No. 68, was the old 14th century =Templars' House=,
since turned into a post-office (photo, p. 96). The Church of St. Pierre
is next reached.

[Illustration: RUINS OF ST. PETER'S CHURCH (_see above_)]

[Illustration: ST. PETER'S CHURCH. THE CHOIR (_See below._)]

[Illustration: ST. PETER'S CHURCH, THE CHOIR BEFORE THE WAR (_photo,
Antony, Ypres_)]

[Illustration: THE RAMPARTS, LILLE GATE AND ST. PETER'S CHURCH
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._) _See below._]

This 11th century church had been largely rebuilt. The façade was
surmounted by a substantial square tower, flanked by four corner turrets
and crowned by an octagonal spire rebuilt in 1868.

[Illustration: AFTER FOUR YEARS' BOMBARDMENTS (_see above_).]

Inside, lofty columns supported the springing of the large irregular
arches. There was no vaulting, the church having a timber-work roof in
shape of an inverted keel. In it were a 16th century altar, large carved
pulpit and a fine choir-screen.

[Illustration: PANORAMIC VIEW OF THE RUIN OF YPRES TAKEN FROM THE LILLE
GATE
(_The point from where this photograph was taken is shown on the plan on
p. 72_ (_at the bottom, on the right_).)

St. Nicolas Old French Barracks School Belltower St. Peters Church St.
James' Church]

[Illustration: RUINS OF THE HÔTEL DE GAND, RUE DES CHIENS]

Rue de Lille ends at Lille Gate. Before passing through, climb up the
ramparts, from which there is a magnificent panorama.

Pass through the Gate, the towers of which date from 1395. There is an
interesting view over the wide moats, and of the ancient ramparts
(rebuilt by Vauban), which were ruined by shells.

_Turn back and re-enter the town by the same way. Beyond the Church of
St. Pierre, take the first street on the right as far as the Rue des
Chiens, where, on turning to the left_, the ruins of the Church St.
Jacques, and the shattered façade of the Hôtel de Gand will be seen.

[Illustration: THE HÔTEL DE GAND
(_Photo, Antony, Ypres._)]

The latter fine house, with double gables dated from the 16th century.
The transition from 15th to 16th century style is very marked: on the
ground-floor is the irregular arch of the 15th century, while on the
first floor the arches are full semi-circles, framing the rectangular
bays, whose tympana are decorated with flamboyant figures. These
tympana were added some years later, thus giving the wide 17th century
windows, of which the (French) architect of the Hôtel Merghelynck made
such happy use (photo, p. 101).

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY AT THE HOSPICE NÔTRE-DAME]

_Having reached the Grande-Place, take the Rue de Menin on the right_,
leaving on the left the ruins of the Hospice Nôtre-Dame. _Next take the
Menin Road, to visit the Château de Hooge and_ =Zillebeke=.

[Illustration: MENIN GATE
_On leaving Ypres in the direction of Hooge and Zillebeke._]

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY JUST OUTSIDE YPRES, ON THE ROAD TO
MENIN]


=Visit to Zillebeke and Hooge=
(_See Itinerary, p. 47._)

_At the Menin Gate leave the Westroosebeke Road on the left, and take
the main road to Menin on the right._

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY AT ZILLEBEKE]

On the right, near the last houses, a British cemetery (photo above).
_Before the level-crossing over the Ypres-Routers railway, take the road
to the right. After passing two further level-crossings, the road
descends slightly._ On the left is a large British cemetery: on the high
ground to the right are the remains of the Château, whilst in the
distance lies =Zillebeke Pond=. On the left is another cemetery. _Pass,
on the left, the beginning of an impassable road, which formerly led to
the main road from Menin. Go past the ruins of Zillebeke Church_, shown
in the photographs, p. 104 (before and after the War).

[Illustration: ZILLEBEKE IN 1919
_The mound is all that remains of the Church Tower seen in the photo
below_]

[Illustration: ZILLEBEKE, BEFORE THE WAR (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)]

[Illustration: BRITISH CEMETERY AT HOOGE]

_Return by the same road as far as the railway, and turn to the right._
A large British cemetery, containing 1,500 to 2,000 graves, will be seen
on the western slopes of the Hooge Crest. The site of the village of
=Hooge=--marked only by a notice board--is next reached. There is no
trace whatever left of the château or of Bellewaarde Lake. It was here
that the battles of July 31, 1917, were fought. On June 2, 1917, the
first objectives of the British, in their offensive for the clearing of
Ypres, were the Wood and Village of Hooge. They were only taken on July
31, although the château itself was captured in June.

[Illustration: ALL THAT IS LEFT OF HOOGE--THE SIGNBOARD!]

[Illustration: HOOGE CHÂTEAU (_photo, Antony, Ypres_)

_To-day the site of the castle is barely discernable._]

Again lost by the British in April, 1918, these positions were evacuated
by the Germans in October.

_Follow the road to the top of the crest_, where the "tank cemetery,"
containing fourteen broke-down tanks, lies (photo below).

_Now skirt on the right the beginning of_ =Sanctuary Wood=, beyond which
is the strategic Hill 60.

Hill 60 was captured by the Germans in 1914, and retaken by the British
in 1915. It was the object of frequent attacks, chiefly the German
attack of April 27--28, 1916.

_At the place called Veldhoek, opposite Herenthage Wood_ (full of
concrete shelters and tanks), _return to Ypres, entering the town by the
Menin Gate_.

[Illustration: TANK CEMETERY
_To the right and left of the road from Ypres to Menin, beyond Hooge,
fourteen tanks lie sunk in the mud._]


=From Ypres to Poperinghe=

_Cross the town by the Grande Place, Rue du Beurre, Rue des Stuers,
Boulevard Malou, on the right, and Rue Capron, on the left, coming out
at the Chaussée de Poperinghe. On leaving the town pass over the
level-crossing._

From Ypres to Vlamertinghe, the road runs through devastated country;
here numerous trenches and machine-gun shelters can still be seen.

_Take the level-crossing over the Hazebrouck-Ypres railway, then cross
the Kemmelbeek by a bridge, still in good condition, and go through_
=Vlamertinghe=. This village suffered greatly from bombardments. In
front of the partly demolished church the road turns to the left.

From Vlamertinghe to Poperinghe the aspect of the country changes
completely. The road is shaded by large trees, and there are hop-fields
on both sides.

_Enter_ =Poperinghe= _by the Chaussée d'Ypres, continue by the Rue
d'Ypres. Passing the Hôtel-des-Postes and the Hôtel-de-Ville, the
tourist comes to the Grande Place_.

[Illustration: POPERINGHE: BERTIN PLACE AND CHURCH OF ST. BERTIN]


=Poperinghe=

Poperinghe, a small town of 12,000 inhabitants, is the centre of an
agricultural district, where hop-growing is the chief industry.

Of its three churches, two only are interesting from an artistic point
of view.

The Church of St. Jean is Romanesque in style, whilst that of St. Bertin
contains some remarkable woodwork: the Vérité pulpit, the Dean's
confessional, and the roof-loft are masterpieces of the Renaissance
period.

In the court of the Hôtel Skindles there is a tombstone dating from
1171.

Old houses are rare in Poperinghe, the town having several times been
destroyed during its history.

[Illustration]



=SECOND DAY: POPERINGHE--LILLE=


=Via The Hills of Flanders, Armentières, Nieppe Forest,
Merville and Béthune=

_Visit to the Hills_: Scherpenberg, Vidaigne, Rouge and Kemmel in
Belgium; and the Mont des Cats and Mont Noir in France.

_At the Grande Place of Poperinghe take Rue Flamande, then Chaussée de
Reninghelst, turn to the left along the Rue des Prêtres, and then turn
to the right into the Rue Boescheppe, opposite the church of St.
Bertin._

_Pass in front of the_ =Diocesan College=, the roof of which was badly
damaged by shell-fire. _In the Place Bertel turn to the right._

_Cross the river by a recently restored bridge, then skirt, on the left,
the communal cemetery_, where the graves have been destroyed by the
shells, and _cross the Hazebrouck-Ypres railway_ (_l. c._).

[Illustration: LA CLYTTE ROAD AND THE MONT ROUGE]

On the left is an Allied cemetery containing 500 to 600 graves. On the
right against the sky is =Cats Hill=. Numerous machine-guns shelters can
still be seen along the road. _Cross a narrow-gauge railway_, which
serves a military station on the right.

_The road is first undulating, then descends to_ =Reninghelst=. _Here
leave on the left the church_, which has not greatly suffered. In the
churchyard near by, there are a few French soldiers' graves. _At the
cross-roads, turn to the left, then 200 yards further on, at_
=Zevecoten=, take the road on the right to =La Clytte=.

The further we advance the greater the devastation of the ground
becomes.

_At the first houses of Clytte Hamlet, turn to the right._ The German
rush of 1918 was broken before this village.

After the capture of Kemmel Hill, a violent enemy attack on April 27
broke down before the desperate resistance of the French 28th Infantry
Division (Madelin) and the British 9th Infantry Division.

=Kemmel= is seen on the left, and =Scherpenberg= in front.

_Pass the church_ (photo, p. 111). _The road turns to the right beyond
the last houses, and gradually climbs the slopes of_ =Scherpenberg=
(altitude, 340 feet). The side of this hill is almost perpendicular, and
in it are numerous remains of shelters.

[Illustration]

The narrow road which led to the top was completely destroyed. The
ascent can, however, be made on foot.

In spite of all their efforts, the Germans failed to reach Scherpenberg
in their offensive of 1918. Their efforts to outflank the Flanders Hills
on the north broke down before the resistance of the French 39th
Infantry Division (Massenet) on April 26, 27 and 28, 1918.

_At the next fork turn to the right into the village of_ =Westoutre=.
Here the road winds through the valley. The river on the left has, owing
to shell-fire, become a small lake. Westoutre suffered greatly in the
bombardments.

_Pass the Town Hall, then turn to the left in front of the church. The
road rises sharply, and winds round_ =Vidaigne Hill=. The many shelters
in the sides of the hill can plainly be seen.

_Behind the hill, leave the road leading to the French frontier, and
take on the left the road which first descends and then climbs the
slopes of_ =Rouge Hill=. From the plateau there is a splendid view
across the plains.

_Leave on the left the ruins of the Chapel of Nôtre-Dame-de-Lourdes._

_The road, rising rather stiffly, runs into the Bailleul Road. On
turning to the right, the first houses of_ =Locre= _village are
reached_.

[Illustration: RUINS OF LA CLYTTE CHURCH]

[Illustration: THE SLOPES OF SCHERPENBERG HILL]

[Illustration: VIDAIGNE HILL]

[Illustration: RUINS OF LOCRE AND ROUGE HILL]

Locre was the scene of terrific fighting during the German offensive
against the Flanders Hills in 1918. On April 19, 1918, it was taken by
the enemy after a daring advance by their Alpine Corps, which had
succeeded in reaching Kemmelbeek Valley. On the same day, the soldiers
of this picked corps continued their advance as far as the crossing with
the Westoutre road, 1 kilomètre to the north of Locre; but here the
French dragoons, in an irresistible counter-attack, drove the Germans
back and recaptured Locre, leaving only the _Hospice_, to the south-east
of the village, in enemy hands.

[Illustration: LOCRE ROAD AT KEMMEL AND KEMMEL HILL]

[Illustration: KEMMEL CHURCH AND VILLAGE IN RUINS
_Photographed from the eastern slopes of Kemmel Hill_]

[Illustration: RUINS OF KEMMEL CHÂTEAU AND HILL]

[Illustration: KEMMEL HILL
_Photographed from the road to Kemmel at La Clytte, 500 yards from the
latter._]

_Beyond the ruins of the church, in the middle of a devastated cemetery,
turn to the left; then at the next fork, leaving some French graves on
the left, take the road on the right leading to_ =Kemmel Hill=.

This hill, the first of the Hills of Flanders, is famous for the battles
fought there in 1918. On April 17, 1918, the Germans had reached the
foot. On the 25th, they rushed to the attack, encircling and capturing
the hill, which was held by the French 30th Infantry Regiment. During
the next and following days French counter-attacks failed to dislodge
the enemy. It was only on August 30 that the Germans evacuated the hill;
on the 31st it was occupied by the British.

_Pass Burgrave Farm. At the foot of the hill (inaccessible to vehicles)
the road turns to the left._ Here the ground is completely churned up,
the bits of road being connected up by little bridges thrown across the
shell-holes. In the distance is seen the ruined church of Kemmel (photo,
p. 113). _On reaching the village, turn to the right, to visit the ruins
of the château_ (photo, p. 114), _then return to the fork and take the
road on the right_.

The road is hilly, as the photograph, taken 500 yards this side of the
crossing with the La Clytte road, shows. _Keeping straight along the
road by which he came, as far as Zevecoten, the tourist then returns
first to the left and then to the right._

_In the centre of_ =Reninghelst= _village, take the Neuve-Eglise road on
the left. At the fork in the road at_ =Heksken=, _turn to the right
towards_ =Poperinghe=. _Cross the river. At the crossing of the road
from Poperinghe to Boeschèpe, turn to the left to visit the largest
cemetery in this region_ (shown on the Itinerary, p. 108), which
contains 20,000 to 22,000 graves The photograph gives but a slight idea
of the size of it.

[Illustration: FRAGMENT OF CEMETERY CONTAINING 20,000 GRAVES AT
BOESCHÈPE, ON THE ROAD TO POPERINGHE]

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW OF CATS HILL]

_Retracing his steps the tourist takes the road which first skirts the
railway, and then crosses it (l. c.) to rejoin the
Poperinghe-Steenwoorde road. Take the latter on the left._ (See
Itinerary, p. 108.)

At the hamlet of Abeele there is a Belgian custom-house (visa of
"triptyque" or motor-car permit). The French custom-house is at
=Steenwoorde= (the third house to the right on entering). Usual
formalities.

_Opposite the custom office take I.C. 128 on the left, which, after
several turnings, leads to_ =Godewaerstelde=. _Leave the village on the
left._

[Illustration: THE CRUCIFIX AND ABBEY OF CATS HILL]

[Illustration: CATS HILL ABBEY]

[Illustration: DESTRUCTION OF THE CHAPEL CHOIR]

[Illustration: THE COURTYARD OF CATS HILL ABBEY AFTER THE BOMBARDMENTS]

_On the far side of the level-crossing the road rises, and the Abbey on
the top of_ =Cats Hill= _soon comes into view_.

There is a magnificent view from the wayside-cross on the plateau. Visit
the monastery, whose buildings suffered greatly from the bombardments.

_Pass in front of the cross and take the second road on the right, which
slopes down fairly quickly to the village of_ =Berthem=, _through which
the tourist passes_.

[Illustration: VIDAIGNE HILL AND NOIR HILL]

_In the hamlet of_ =Schaexnen=, _opposite the inn with the sign "Au
Vieux Schaexnen," turn to the left, passing in front of a small château
in the middle of a wood on the right. A plateau_--=Noir Hill=--_ploughed
up by countless shells, is reached shortly afterwards_.

_At the fork in the road turn to the right_ (the road on the left leads
back into Belgium).

_Go through the hamlet of_ =La Croix-de-Poperinghe=, _then at the next
fork take the road to_ =Bailleul= _on the right_. _At Bailleul leave the
lunatic asylum on the left._ The French custom-house is in the Rue
d'Ypres. (In June, 1919, there was as yet no corresponding office at
Locre in Belgium.)

Bailleul suffered terribly from the bombardments, most of the houses
being destroyed.

Bailleul was taken by three German divisions on April 15, 1918, as well
as Little Hill and the Ravelsberg, to the west of the town. But the next
day the German forces, who had orders to consolidate their success and
turn the chain of hills from the south, were rudely checked by French
divisions, rushed up to relieve their British comrades, and in three
days, thanks to the prompt and vigorous action of General Pétain, they
were driven back.

_Have a look round the Grande Place before taking the Rue de Lille_ (N.
42) _on the left_. _At the Noveau-Monde cross-roads_, where there is an
important munitions depôt with railway-station, _turn sharply to the
left, leaving Lille Hill on the left_.

_After twice crossing the railway_ (_l. c._) the Customs Barracks are
passed. The road passes over three more level-crossings, skirts the
frontier, crosses the railway, and then the Stilbecque stream. _Next
pass through_ =Nieppe= village--almost entirely demolished; _then over
the railway_ (_l. c._). _Cross the Lys by the Nieppe Bridge and enter_
=Armentières=, _via the Rue de Nieppe_.

_At the cross-roads take Rue Nationale on the right, and follow the
tram-lines as far as the crossing of Rue de Lille with Rue de Marle.
Take the latter to the right, and cross the railway_ (_l. c._).

For particulars concerning Armentières, see pp. 49--55, first Itinerary.

_Keep straight to_ =Bois-Grenier=, _turning to the right in front of the
ruined church_.

_Outside the village take the second road on the right to_ =Fleurbaix=.

_Pass the church, of which a few walls are still standing_ (photo
below), _then turn to the left beyond the Square into Rue de Quesnes_.
Numerous concrete shelters were built inside the houses.

_Near the British cemetery the road turns to the right, then to the
left, and enters_ =Laventie=. _Turn to the right in the Place de
l'Eglise, then to the left over a level-crossing near the station_.

[Illustration: DESTROYED CHURCH OF FLEURBAIX]

[Illustration: LAVENTIE CHURCH, RUINED BY THE BOMBARDMENTS]

_After several turnings the road runs past a small ruined chapel,
crosses a river, then turns to the right, and crosses the Lys. At the
first houses of_ =Estaires=, _100 yards beyond the bridge, turn to the
left, amid the ruins._

_Pass the ruined gasworks and follow the main street shown in the photo
below._ In the middle ground of this photograph are seen the walls of
the church, the steeple of which has fallen in.

[Illustration: ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE MAIN STREET OF ESTAIRES]

[Illustration: MERVILLE (_from old engraving_)]

_Leave on the left the Square, in which formerly stood the
Hôtel-de-Ville_; its ruined belfry is now a mere heap of bricks and
stones.

_Beyond a German cemetery on the right, pass through_ =Neuf-Berquin=,
_after which, on turning to the left_, =Merville= comes into view.

[Illustration: MERVILLE CHURCH, AS THE GERMAN SHELLS LEFT IT
_Seen from the Rue des Trois Prêtres._]

[Illustration: RUINS OF LESTREM CHURCH]

At the entrance is the cemetery, the area of which has been doubled by
serried rows of little wooden crosses, each marking a British grave.

If time can be spared (two or three hours) proceed as far as =Nieppe
Forest=, keeping straight on, and leaving Merville on the left.

[Illustration: LESTREM CHÂTEAU
(_Destroyed by the German bombardments._)]
[Illustration: REMAINS OF LOCON VILLAGE]

Contrarily to other forests in the battle area, Nieppe Forest did not
suffer greatly, although, like the others, it concealed munitions and
stores. (Note the numerous narrow-gauge rails lying along the roadside.)

The roads themselves bear traces of hastily constructed defence-works.

On the left, near the outskirts of the forest, a pathway leads to a
cemetery containing British soldiers' graves.

La Motte-au-Bois, lying in a clearing, suffered little. Its 17th century
château, which escaped destruction, can be reached by crossing the canal
over a temporary bridge, leaving on the right a small octagonal chapel
of no special interest.

_Return by the same road to_ =Merville=, _and pass through it_, taking a
glance at the ruins of the church on the right. _Cross the canal, the
Lys, and the railway near the station, and turn to the left immediately
afterwards._

_Follow the railway, then re-cross it. The road here runs parallel to
the canal. At the next fork leave on the left the road to the Gorgue;
turn to the right, cross the railway, and enter_ =Lestrem=. _Beyond the
bridge over the Lawe, pass the church, then turn to the right, and skirt
the grounds of an old ruined château._

This château--completely restored in 1890--was used by the Germans as an
observation-post, and subsequently blown up by them on April 10, 1918
(photo, p. 122).

On leaving Lestrem the road winds. On the left, broken fragments of
ironwork mark the site of the distillery, which provided a livelihood
for part of the working population of =La Fosse= village. The ruined
church is seen to the left, on the far side of the canal.

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE. THE CANAL AND SIDING (_Cliché LL._)]

_Go through the hamlet of_ =Zelobes=, which, like that of =Lobes=, was
razed to the ground.

_Pass through what was_ =Locon= village (photo, p. 123).

Lawe Canal, after running parallel to the road, turns and cuts it.
_Cross the canal by the temporary bridge._

A little further on, the road again follows the canal as far as the
entrance to =Béthune=.

_Cross the Aires Canal, pass the railway station on the left, then
through the horse-market to the Place de la République. Cross the latter
and take the Rue de Rivage to the Grande Place._

For four years the whole district just passed through, since leaving
Armentières, was the scene of incessant fighting.

In October, 1914, it saw the close of the fighting which concluded the
"race to the sea," and the stabilising of the front here resulted in
more than six months' continuous fighting.

A little later, the Artois offensive of 1915 found an echo in local
operations for the possession of key positions like Festubert and
Neuve-Chapelle, giving rise to sanguinary struggles without decisive
result for either side.

Finally, in 1918, it was the scene of the third great German offensive
for the conquest of the Hills (see pp. 38--43.)


=Béthune=

The foundation in 984 of the Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew, by
Robert I., ancestor of Sully, is the first mention of Béthune in
history. The town, owned in turn by the Counts of Flanders, the Dukes of
Burgundy, and the House of Austria, annexed to France at the Peace of
Nimègue in 1678, taken in 1710 by the Triple Alliance, was finally
restored to France in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht.

A fraternity, called the "Confrérie des Charitables," still survives.
Founded after the plague of 1188 by two blacksmiths, to whom St. Eloi
appeared in a vision, asking them to assist their fellow-countrymen who
were dying unsuccoured, it performed the burial rites of the dead.

During the Great War the town was intermittently bombarded for three and
a half years, but from the end of February, 1918, to April 21 the
violence of the shelling increased tenfold, and on the latter date the
civil population had to be evacuated, the battle having carried the
German lines within two miles of Béthune.

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE, _from an old engraving_]

On April 13--18 the bombardment became so intense that the town was
almost razed to the ground.

The officials and the miners of the district were mentioned in Orders of
the Day for their courage and endurance.

At first sight, the town does not seem to have suffered so much, but
this impression soon passes.

The Grande Place (photo, p. 126) where the chief beauties of this small
town were concentrated, is now a heap of bricks and stones.

The old houses have fallen in; only the façade of one of them (No. 44),
dating from the 16th century, remains, and even this one was severely
damaged and is now supported by wooden props.

Of the modern Hôtel-de-Ville there remains only a small portion of the
façade (photo, p. 127), whilst the Savings Bank on the left is a
shapeless ruin.

The belfry, built in 1346 and restored forty years later, is still
standing, but the upper portion of it has disappeared, and the houses
which surrounded it have fallen in.

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE. THE GRANDE PLACE. _Before the War._ (_Cliché
LL._)]

Its tower is standing, as far as the upper part of the sun-dial, whilst
the four admirable gargoyles which project at the corners, and the
graceful curve of the pointed windows of its first storey, escaped
injury.

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE. THE GRANDE PLACE. _After the Bombardments_]

The remains of the spiral staircase leading to the top may still be
seen, but the 15th century wooden spire has gone.

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE. RUINS OF THE HÔTEL-DE-VILLE]

This spire contained a peal of bells, one of which, dated 1576, was
called "La Joyeuse."

"La Joyeuse" is silenced for ever.

This peal gave its name to the street behind the belfry, which leads to
the Church of St. Waast (1533--1545), whose massive tower was more than
half-a-century later than the rest of the building.

_To leave the town, return from the Grande Place to the Place de la
République_ (in June, 1917, it was impossible to take the Rue d'Arras,
which is the direct road, all this part of the town being obstructed by
ruins).

[Illustration: RUINS OF ST. WAAST CHURCH]

_In the Place de la République take the Boulevard Victor-Hugo on the
right, and then Rue Marcelin-Berthelot, also on the right. At the
cross-roads take the Rue de Lille to the left._ The Faubourg de Lille
suffered severely from the bombardment. _Take N. 41 alongside the Aire
Canal._

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE. RUE D'ARRAS, BEFORE KULTUR'S BLIGHT FELL ON IT.
(_Cliché LL._) (_See below_)]

[Illustration: BÉTHUNE. RUE D'ARRAS--WHAT THE GERMAN SHELLS LEFT OF IT
(_see above_)]

[Illustration: DESTROYED BRIDGE ACROSS THE BASSÉE]

For four years the fighting never ceased in this region. _Leave the
Festubert sector on the right._ Throughout the struggle, the Canadians
fought so bravely that one of their recruiting posters was dedicated to
the heroes of Festubert, with this inscription:

    "Oui, vous avez raison, c'est hideux le carnage,
    Oui, le progrès blessé recule et se débat,
    Notre siècle en fureur retourne au moyen âge,
    Mais sachons donc nous battre, au moins, puisqu'on se bat."

_At the crossing of N. 41 and 43 leave the latter on the right._

_Cross the Grande Rue d'Annequin._ From here, on the right, coalpit No.
9 can be seen, with its wrecked machinery in the air--a mass of twisted
ironwork.

_The ruined village of_ =Cambrin= _is next passed through. On the other
side of the level-crossing, leave on the right the badly damaged village
of_ =Auchy-lez-La-Bassée=. _The road now follows the canal._ After
crossing the railway (l. c.) vast heaps of broken railway trucks smashed
by the shells can be seen in the fields on the right. Further on are
eight or nine blockhouses which were formerly brick-kilns. _Turn to the
left, cross the railway, then the Aire Canal by the new suspension
bridge_ (beside the old one shown in the photograph) _and enter_ =La
Bassée=, _now a heap of ruins_.

La Bassée, an important centre standing at the junction of several roads
and railways, in the heart of the plain of Flanders, south-west of
Lille, was the objective of many desperate struggles during the war.

In October, 1914, the district of La Bassée was the scene of endless
conflicts between the Allied and enemy cavalry forces, the little town
finally remaining in the hands of the Germans.

A year later, the British offensive in Artois drove back the Germans
south of La Bassée, whilst to the north the positions of Neuve-Chapelle
and Aubers were bitterly disputed. However, the lines shifted but
little, and La Bassée still remained in the centre of the line of fire.

[Illustration: LA BASSÉE, _from an old engraving_]

During the German offensive of 1918, the town again came inside the
German lines, but the enemy were driven out shortly afterwards, during
the Allied offensive that led to the Armistice and to the consummation
of victory.

_Go through the Rue d'Estaires_, in which there is a large and very high
armoured shelter that served as an observation-post. _Pass the ruined
church_ (photo, p. 132), _then turn to the right into the Grande Place_.
Inside a three-storied house, which later collapsed under the shell-fire
(photo, p. 132), there was a German observation-post of concrete, armed
with machine-guns.

_On leaving La Bassée continue along N. 41_, with its fine trees cut
down and left along the sides of the road. _Pass the first houses of_
=Illies= _village, on the left, and 100 yards further on, cross a large
avenue_ (_leading to the Château de Varneton_).

[Illustration: LA BASSÉE. STREET CAMOUFLAGED BY THE GERMANS (_Note the
high poles on the left._)]

[Illustration: LA BASSÉE. RUE D'ESTAIRES BEFORE THE WAR (_Compare with
photo below._)]

On the right, and connected with _N. 41_ by a small bridge, there is a
large German cemetery with a monument to the memory of the soldiers of
the XVth Regiment (Prinz Friedrich) (photo, p. 133).

_The road leads to_ =Fournes=, _the outskirts of which are crossed by
Rue Pasteur_. Pass an avenue of fine trees leading to the Château of
Comte d'Hespel, accidentally burned down.

At the cross-roads there is a bandstand erected by the Germans. A crude
painting on the back of the stand represents a tug-of-war between a
German and British, French and American soldiers, in which the German
wins apparently with ease. Italy, depicted as a monkey, is seen clinging
to the rope.

After turning to the right the road passes the large Gambert Boarding
School, which was severely damaged. Behind it is a large cemetery.

_Follow the road to the badly damaged village of_ =Beaucamps=, where
there are numerous concrete shelters in the houses. _At the cross-roads
turn to the left._ A wayside-cross, ten yards further on, indicate the
road. A short distance further on are the ruins of the Château de
Flandre, the basement of which, in reinforced concrete, was used as a
machine-gun emplacement.

[Illustration: LA BASSÉE. RUE D'ESTAIRES IN 1919 (_Compare with photo
above._)]

[Illustration: LA BASSÉE. ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE CHURCH]

The tourist next comes to what was =Radinghem=. _Beyond the ruined
church_ (photo, p. 133), _turn to the right past an armoured shelter,
which defended the road, pass under the railway, and at the hamlet of_
=La Vallée=, _beyond a chapel, turn to the right into_ =Ennetières=.
_The road continues through the ruins of_ =Englos= _and_ =Haubourdin=.

[Illustration: LA BASSÉE. CONCRETE OBSERVATION-POST BUILT BY THE GERMANS
INSIDE A HOUSE WHICH, LATER, COLLAPSED]

[Illustration: GERMAN CEMETERY ON THE RIGHT OF THE ROAD FROM LA BASSÉE
TO TOURNES, 100 YDS. FROM ILLIES. (_See Itinerary, p. 108._)]

[Illustration: GERMAN FUNEREAL MONUMENT]

Haubourdin suffered comparatively little from the shells, but like all
the other occupied towns of France, it was subjected to exactions,
war-levies, deportations and pillage. The German soldiers, when relieved
from the Hindenburg line, had their rest-billets there. The church (of
no especial interest), the hospital (15th century), and a chapel built
in 1347, are still preserved.

_After passing through_ =Loos=, _return to_ =Lille=, _entering by the
Béthune Gate_.

[Illustration: RADINGHEM IN RUINS]

[Illustration: LILLE. THE EX-KAISER IN THE PLACE CORMONTAIGNE]

_For visiting Lille, see the Michelin Illustrated Guide: "Lille Before
and During the War."_

[Illustration: LILLE. THE COURTYARD OF THE BOURSE, WITH BRONZE STATUE OF
NAPOLEON I. CAST FROM CANNONS CAPTURED AT AUSTERLITZ]

[Illustration: LILLE, AFTER THE BOMBARDMENT OF 1914]

[Illustration: THE COLLAPSE OF A HOUSE ON THE RUE DE PARIS]

[Illustration: LILLE. ENTRY OF THE BRITISH 5TH ARMY ON OCT. 21, 1918]

[Illustration: KEMMEL HILL

Seen from the road to Warneton, at Neuve Eglise._]



THE BRITISH FORCES ENGAGED in the YPRES SECTOR


[Illustration: _Photo, F. A. Swaine, London._
VISCOUNT FRENCH OF YPRES,
K.P., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G.]

    _The Orders of Battle have been compiled from information
    supplied by the Historical Section (Military Branch) Committee
    of Imperial Defence, with permission of the Army Council, War
    Office._


THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, 1914.

[Illustration: _Commander-in-Chief_ FIELD-MARSHAL SIR JOHN FRENCH.
_Photo, F. A. Swaine, London._
FIELD-MARSHAL VISCOUNT ALLENBY, G.C.B., C.M.G.]

    _Cavalry Division._ MAJOR-GEN. SIR E. H. H. ALLENBY.

    _1st Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. J. BRIGGS.
    _2nd Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. H. DE B. DE LISLE.
    _3rd Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. H. DE LA P. GOUGH.
    _4th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. THE HON. C. E. BINGHAM.
    _5th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. SIR P. W. CHETWODE.
    _R.H.A._: BRIG.-GEN. B. F. DRAKE.

[Illustration: FIELD-MARSHAL EARL HAIG,
K.T., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., K.C.I.E.]

[Illustration: _Photo, F. A. Swaine, London_.
GENERAL SIR H. L. SMITH-DORRIEN,
G.C.B, G.C.M.G., D.S.O.]

    _First Army Corps_ LIEUT.-GEN. SIR DOUGLAS HAIG.

    _Brig.-Gen. R.A._: BRIG.-GEN. H. S. HORNE.

    _1st Division_, MAJOR-GEN. S. H. LOMAX.
    _1st Guards Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. F. I. MAXSE.
    _2nd Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. E. S. BULFIN.
    _3rd Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. H. S. LANDON.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. N. D. FINDLAY.
    _Brig.-Gen. R.E._: BRIG.-GEN. S. B. RICE.

    _2nd Division_, MAJOR-GEN. C. C. MUNRO.
    _4th Guards Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. R. SCOTT-KERR.
    _5th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. R. C. B. HAKING.
    _6th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. R. H. DAVIES.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. E. M. PERCEVAL.

    _Second Army Corps_ GENERAL SIR H. L. SMITH-DORRIEN

    _Brig.-Gen. R.A._: BRIG.-GEN. A. H. SHORT.

    _3rd Division_, MAJOR-GEN. H. I. W. HAMILTON.
    _7th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. F. W. N. MCCRACKEN
    _8th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. B. J. C. DORAN.
    _9th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. F. C. SHAW.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. F. D. V. WING.
    _Brig.-Gen. R.E._: BRIG.-GEN. A. E. SANDBACH.

    _5th Division_, MAJOR-GEN. SIR C. FERGUSSON. BT.
    _13th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. J. CUTHBERT.
    _14th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. S. P. ROLT.
    _15th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. A. E. W. COUNT GLEICHEN.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. J. E. W. HEADLAM.
    _19th Inf. Bde._: MAJOR-GEN. L. DRUMMOND.

    _Third Army Corps_    MAJOR-GEN. W. P. PULTENEY.
    (_Formed in France, August 31, 1919._)

    _Brig.-Gen. R.A._: BRIG.-GEN. E. J. PHILLIPS-HORNBY, V.C.
    _Brig.-Gen. R.E._: BRIG.-GEN. F. M. GLUBB.

    _4th Division_, MAJOR-GEN. T. D'O. SNOW.
    _10th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. J. A. L. HALDANE.
    _11th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. A. G. HUNTER-WESTON.
    _12th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. H. F. M. WILSON.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. G. F. MILNE.

    _6th Division_, MAJOR-GEN.: J. L. KEIR.
    (_Embarked for S. Nazaire, Sept. 8--9, 1914._)
    _16th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. E. C. INGOUVILLE-WILLIAMS.
    _17th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. W. R. B. DORAN.
    _18th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. W. N. CONGREVE V.C.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. W. L. H. PAGET.


=FIRST BATTLE OF YPRES.=
(October 19--November 21, 1914.)

    _General Officer Commanding-in-Chief_ FIELD-MARSHAL SIR JOHN FRENCH.
    _Cavalry Corps._ GEN. SIR E. H. H. ALLENBY.

    _1st Cav. Division_: MAJOR-GEN. H. DE B. DE LISLE.
    _1st Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. J. BRIGGS.
    _2nd Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. R. L MULLENS.

    _2nd Cav. Division_: MAJOR-GEN. H. P. GOUGH.
    _3rd Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. J. A. BELL SMYTHE.
    _4th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. E. BINGHAM.
    _5th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. P. CHEPWODE.

    _3rd Cav. Division_: MAJOR-GEN. J. W. BYNG.
    _6th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. E. MAKINS.
    _7th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. M. KAVANAGH.
    _8th Cav. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. B. BULKELEY-JOHNSON.

[Illustration: _Photo, Russell, London._
LORD RAWLINSON, G.C.B., G.C.V.O.,
K.C.M.G., A.D.C.]

[Illustration: _Photo, "Daily Mirror" Studios._
LIEUT.-GEN. SIR H. DE LA P. GOUGH,
G.C.M.G., K.C.B., K.C.V.O.]

    _First Army Corps_ GEN. SIR D. HAIG.

    _1st Division_: MAJOR-GEN. S. H. LOMAX.
    _1st Guards Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. FITZCLARENCE.
    _2nd Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. E. S. BULFIN.
    _3rd Inf. Bde._: BRIG. GEN. H. J. S LANDON. V C.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. E. A. FANSHAWE.

    _2nd Division_: MAJOR-GEN. C. C. MONRO.
    _4th Guards Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. LORD CAVAN.
    _5th Inf. Bde._: COL. C. B. WESTMACOTT.
    _6th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. R. FANSHAWE.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. E. M. PERCEVAL.

    _Second Army Corps_ GEN. SIR H. L. SMITH-DORRIEN.

    _3rd Division_: MAJOR-GEN. C. J. MACKENZIE.
    _7th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. F. W. MCCRAKEN.
    _8th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. B. J. C. DORAN,
    _9th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. F. C. SHAW.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. A. H. SHORT.

    _5th Division_: MAJOR-GEN. T. N. MORLAND.
    _13th Inf. Bde_: COL. A. W. MARTYN.
    _14th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN, E. S. MAUDE.
    _15th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. A. E. W. COUNT GLEICHEN.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN J. E. W. HEADLAM.

    _Third Army Corps_  GEN. SIR W. P. PULTENEY.

    _4th Division_: MAJOR-GEN. H. F. M. WILSON.
    _10th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. P. A. HULL.
    _11th Inf. Bde_: BRIG.-GEN A. HUNTER WESTON.
    _12th Inf. Bde._: BRIG-GEN. F. G. ANLEY.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. G. F. MILNE.

    _6th Division_: MAJOR-GEN. T. L. KEIR.
    _16th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. E. C. INGOUVILLE-WILLIAMS.
    _17th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. W. R. B. DORAN.
    _18th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. W. N. CONGREVE.
    _19th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. HON. F. GORDON.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN W. H. L. PAGET.

    _Fourth Army Corps_ LIEUT.-GEN. SIR H. S. RAWLINSON.

    _7th Division_: MAJOR-GEN. T. CAPPER.
    _20th Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. H. RUGGLES-BRISE.
    _21st Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. H. E. WATTS.
    _22nd Inf. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. S. T. B. LAWFORD.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. H. K. JACKSON.

    _Indian Army Corps_ LIEUT.-GEN. SIR J. WILLCOCKS.

    _3rd_ (_Lahore_) _Div._: LIEUT.-GEN. H. A. WATKINS.
    _7th Ind. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. R. G. EGERTON.
    _8th Ind. Bde._: MAJOR-GEN. P. M. CARMEDY.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. F. E. JOHNSON.
    _7th (Meerut) Div._: LIEUT.-GEN. C. A. ANDERSON.
    _19th Ind. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. C. E. JOHNSON.
    _20th Ind. Bde._: MAJOR-GEN. H. DU KEARY.
    _21st Ind. Bde._: BRIG.-GEN. F. MACBEAN.
    _Artillery_: BRIG.-GEN. A. P. SCOTT.


=SECOND BATTLE OF YPRES.=
(April 22--May 24, 1915.)

    _General Officer Commanding-in-Chief_ FIELD-MARSHAL SIR JOHN FRENCH.

    _Cavalry Corps._ GEN. SIR E. H. H. ALLENBY.

    _1st Cav. Div._: MAJOR-GEN. H. DE B. DE LISLE.
    _2nd Cav. Div._: MAJOR-GEN. C. T. KAVANAGH.
    _3rd Cav. Div._: MAJOR-GEN. J. W. BYNG.

    _Second Army_GEN. SIR H. SMITH-DORRIEN.

    _Second Army Corps_        LIEUT.-GEN. SIR C. FERGUSON.

    _5th Div._: MAJOR-GEN. T. N. MORLAND.
    _46th Div._: MAJOR-GEN. E. J. MONTAGUE-STUART-WORTLEY.

    _Fifth Army Corps_LIEUT.-GEN. SIR H. PLUMER.

[Illustration:_Photo, Russell, London._
FIELD-MARSHAL LORD PLUMER,
G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O.]

[Illustration:_Photo, Russell, London._
LIEUT.-GENERAL SIR E. A. H. ALDERSON,
K.C.B.]

    _27th Div._: MAJOR-GEN. T. D'O. SNOW.
    _28th Div._: MAJOR-GEN. E. S. BULFIN.

    _Third Army Corps_ GEN. SIR W. P. PULTENEY.

    _4th Div._: MAJOR-GEN. H. F. M. WILSON.
    _6th Div._: MAJOR-GEN. T. L. KEIR.
    _50th Div._ (_General Reserve_): MAJOR-GEN. SIR W. F. LINDSAY.


=THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES.=
(July 31--November 6, 1916.)

    _General Officer Commanding-in-Chief_
        FIELD-MARSHAL SIR DOUGLAS HAIG.

    _First Army._ LIEUT.-GEN. SIR H. S. HORNE.
    _1st Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. A. E. A. HOLLAND.
    _11th Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR E. C. R. HAKING.
    _13th Army Corps_: MAJOR-GEN. F. W. N. MCCRACKEN.

    _Second Army_ GENERAL SIR H. C. O. PLUMER.
    _2nd Army Corps_ (_with 5th Army during Aug._):
        LIEUT.-GEN. SIR C. W. JACOB.
    _8th Army Corps_ (_with 5th Army during Aug. & Sept._):
        MAJOR-GEN. SIR A. G. HUNTER-WESTON.
    _9th Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. A. HAMILTON GORDON.
    _10th Army Corps_: MAJOR-GEN. SIR T. L. N. MORLAND.
    _1st Anzac Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. R. BIRDWOOD.
    2nd Anzac Corps: Major-Gen. Sir A. J. Godley.

    _Third Army._ LIEUT.-GEN. THE HON. SIR J. H. G. BYNG.
    _3rd Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. P. PULTENEY.
    _4th Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR C. L. WOOLLCOMBE.
    _6th Army Corps_: MAJOR-GEN. J. A. L. HALDANE.
    _17th Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR C. FERGUSON.

    _Fourth Army_ GENERAL SIR H. S. RAWLINSON, BART.
    _15th Army Corps_: MAJOR-GEN. SIR J. P. DU CANE.

    _Fifth Army_        LIEUT.-GEN. SIR H. DE LA P. GOUGH.
    _2nd Army Corps (see 2nd Army)_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR C. W. JACOB.
    _5th Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. E. A. FANSHAW.
    _8th Army Corps (see 2nd Army)_: MAJOR-GEN. SIR A. G. HUNTER-WESTON.
    _14th Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. LORD CAVAN.
    _18th Army Corps_: MAJOR-GEN. SIR F. L. MAXSE.
    _19th Army Corps_: MAJOR-GEN. H. E. WATTS.
    _New Zealand Division (Unattached)_: MAJOR-GEN. SIR A. H. RUSSELL.

    _Canadian Army Corps_: LIEUT.-GEN. SIR E. A. H. ALDERSON.

[Illustration: _Photo, Russell, London._
LORD BYNG, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.V.O.]

[Illustration: _Photo, Chandler, Exeter._
THE EARL OF CAVAN, K.P., G.C.M.G., K.C.B.]



INDEX TO NAMES OF PLACES MENTIONED IN THIS VOLUME


_The figures in heavy type indicate the pages on which there are
illustrations._

    Abeele, 116

    Aire Canal, 124, 127

    Allaines, 45

    =Amiens=, 37, 45

    Anzac Redoubt, 28

    =Armentières=, 5, 18, 38, 39, 45, 46, =49=, =50=, =51=, =52=,
    =53=, =54=, 58, 108, 119, 124

    =Arras=, 37

    Artois, 37

    Aschhoop, 35

    Aubers, 129

    Auchy-la-Bassée, 129


    =Bailleul=, 39, 40, 41, 45, 119

    Baisieux, 18

    Beaucamps, 131

    Becelaere, 3, 7, 30, 48, 61, =62=, 63

    Bellewarde Lake, 105

    Berthem, 118

    =Béthune=, 39, 48, 108, =124=, =125=, =126=, =127=, =128=

    Bixschoote, 12, 14, 25, 32

    Bizet, =55=

    Boeschèpe, =115=

    Boesinghe, 23, 66, =67=, 68

    Bois Grenier, 38, 39, 119

    Borry Farm, 28

    Broodseinde, 3, 15, 30, 32, 63

    =Bruges=, 69

    Brulooze Inn, 43


    Calonne, 39

    =Cambrai=, 45, 46

    Cambrin, 129

    Canal du Nord, 45

    Canteleu, 48

    =Cassel=, 40

    Cats Hill, 40, 42, 48, 58, 108, 109, =116=, =117=, =118=

    Chapelle d'Armentières, 49

    Clarence River, 39

    Clercken, 3

    Comines, 46

    Corverbeek Stream, 34


    Denain, 46

    Dickebusch Pond, 42, 43

    =Dixmude=, 13, 23, 25, 26, 46

    =Douai=, 46

    Douve River, 58

    Draeibank, 34

    Dranoutre, 41, 42

    Driegrachten, 26


    Elverdinghe, 23

    Englos, 132

    Ennetières, 132

    Essenfarm, 23

    Estaires, 39, 45, 48, =120=


    =Festubert=, 39, 124

    Fleurbaix, 39, =119=

    Fokker Farm, 28

    Fourues, 131

    Frezenburg, 7, 16, 25


    Gallipoli Farm, 28

    Gapaard, 21, 23, =59=

    Gaverbeck Canal, 60

    =Gheluvelt=, 3, 4, 7, 28, 46, 48, =60=, 61

    =Ghent=, 69

    =Givenchy=, 39, 45

    Glencorse Wood, 3, 26, 28

    Godewaerstelde, 116

    Goudberg, 35

    Gouzeaucourt, 45

    Gravenstafel, 31


    Hanebeke Stream, 115

    Haubourdin, 58, 132

    Haute-Deule Canal, 46, 48

    Havrincourt Wood, 45

    =Hazebrouck=, 39, 40, 45

    Heksken, 115

    Herenthage Wood, 3, 28, 106

    Het Sas, 14, 15, 17, 23, 67

    =Hill 60=, 3, 14, 16, 18, 106

    Hill 63, 57

    =Hindenburg Line=, 133

    Hockske, 35

    Hollebeke, 7, 10, 23, 25, 26, 28, 59, =60=

    =Hooge=, 16, 19, 23, 25, 48, =105=, =106=

    Houthem, 11, 48, 59, 60

    Houthulst Forest, 3, 32, 33, 46, 66


    Iberian Farm, 28

    Illies, 130

    "International Trench", 18

    Inverness Wood, 3, 26, 28


    =Kemmel=, 14, 41, 42, 109, =113=, =114=, 115

    Kemmel Hill, 40, 42, 48, 58, 108, 109, =114=, 115, 136

    Kemmelbeek, 42, 107, 112

    Kippe, 35

    Klein Zillebeke, 7, 21, 23, 28

    Kortekeer Inn, 25

    Kortewilde, 60

    Kruppfarm, 23


    =La Bassée=, 13, 37, 38, 45, 48, 129, =130=, =131=, =132=

    La Bassée Canal, 46

    La Clytte, 42, 43, 109, =111=, 115

    La Couture, 39

    La Croix de Poperinghe, 118

    La Fosse, 123

    La Motte du Bois, 123

    =Langemarck=, 12, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27, 28, 30, 48, =66=, =67=

    La Vallée, 132

    Laventie, 39, 45, 119, =120=

    Lawe River, 39, 123, 124

    =Lens=, 45, 46

    Lestrem, =122=, 123

    Le Transloy, 45

    Lille, 40, 46, =48=, 50, 108, 133, =134=, =135=

    Lille-Hazebrouck Rly., 30

    Lindenhoek, 41, 42

    Little Hill, 119

    Lizerne, 15, 23

    Lobes, 124

    Locon, 39, =123=, 124

    =Locre=, 42, 43 110, =112=, 115

    Lombaertzyde, 23

    Lomme, 48

    =Loos=, 133

    Luyghem, 35

    =Lys River=, 13, 23, 25 37, 39, 45, 46, =50=, =51=, 53, 55, 119,
    120, 123


    Mangelhaere, 32

    Marchiennes, 46

    Marquion, 45

    Martjet-Vaart Canal, 26

    =Menin=, 7, 9, 16, 28, 46, 61, 103, 105

    Menin Road, 30

    Merckem, 35

    Merris, 39

    Merville, 39, 45, 108, =121=, 122, 123

    =Messines=, 5, 8, 9, 20, 21, 23, 48, =56=, =58=, 59, 61

    Messines-Wytschaete Crest, 39

    Meteren, 39, 40, 41, 45

    Molenaarelsthoek, 30

    Molenhoek, 62

    Mosselmarkt, 35


    Neuf-Berquin, 39, 121

    =Neuve-Chapelle=, 13, 38, 39, 45, 124, 129

    Neuve-Eglise, 39, 40, 45, 58

    Nieppe, 39, 119

    Nieppe Forest, 38, 39, 45, 108, 122, 123

    Noir Hill, 40, 48, 58, 108, =118=

    Nonnes Wood, 3, 28

    Noordhemhoek, 30, 63

    Noreuil, 45

    Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce, 58


    Oosttraverne, 20

    Orchies, 46

    Outtersteene, 45


    Papegoed Wood, 34

    =Passchendaele=, 3, 30, 32, 34, 35, 46, 48, 63, =64=, 65

    Petite Doure Stream, 58

    Petit-Kemmel, 42

    Pilkem, 14, 15, 23, 25, 66

    =Ploegsteert=, 18, 23, 39, 45, 55, =56=, =57=

    Poelcapelle, 3, 7, 28, 31, 32, 33, 35, =46=, =65=, 66

    Polderhoek, 30

    Polygon Wood, 3, 26, 28, 63

    =Poperinghe=, 16, 40, 48, =107=, 108, 115

    Poterie Farm, 21

    Potsdam Redoubt, 28

    Premesques Château, 49


    Quatre Chemins, 23

    Quéant, 45


    Radinghem, 132, =133=

    Ramscapelle, 16

    Ravelsberg, 119

    Ravetsberg, 40

    Rayon Wood, 20

    Reninghe, 23

    =Reninghelst=, 109, 115

    Reutel, 80

    Richebourg-St.-Waast, 39

    Robecq, 39

    Rose Farm, 28

    Rossignol, 58

    Rouge Hill, =40=, 48, 58, 108, =109=, 110, =112=

    =Roubaix=, 46, 50

    =Roulers=, 15, 34, 64


    Sailly-Saillisel, 45

    =St. Eloi=, 3, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 41

    St. Janshoek, 32, 34

    St. Julien, 16, 25, 27, 28

    St. Maur Ferry, 39

    St. Yves, 8, 21, 23

    Sanctuary Wood, 19, 23, 25, 106

    Schaexnen, 118

    Scherpenberg Hill, =37=, 48, 108, 109, 110, =111=

    Soetart Farm, 16

    Steenbeck Canal, 25, 26, 58

    Steenstraat, 14, 15, 16, 17, 25, 26

    Steenwerck, 39, 45

    Steenwoorde, 116

    Stilebecque Stream, 119


    Terhand, 61, =62=

    Thérouanne, 70

    Thielt, 6

    =Tourcoing=, 46, 50

    =Tournai=, 18

    Tower Hamlet, 28, 29, 30, 61


    =Valenciennes=, 46

    Vampire Farm, 28

    Veldhoek, 28, 32, 106

    Vendin-le-Vieil, 46

    Verbranden-Molen, 10

    Verlorenhoek, 23, 25

    Vidaigne Hill, 40, 48, 108, 110, =112=, =118=

    Vieux-Berquin, 39, 45

    Villers-au-Flos, 45

    =Vlamertinghe=, 107

    Voormezelo, 42


    Wanbecke River, 59

    Warneton, 58

    Wervicq, 46

    Westhoek, 26

    =Westoutre=, 43, 110

    Westroosebeke, =65=

    Wez Macquart, 49

    Wieltje, 16, 23

    Wulverghem, 14, 39, 40, 45, 58

    =Wytschaete=, 8, 9, 20, 40, 48, =59=

    Wytschaete-Messines Crest, 39


    Yperlée River, 23, 68, 71, 80

    =Ypres=, =4=, =11=, =14=, =18=, =35=, =58=, =68--102=

    Ypres-Bruges Rly., 23, 25

    Ypres-Comines Canal, 17, 21, 23, 26, 28

      "     "     Rly., 19

      "   Lille Rly., 60

      "   Roulers Rly., 23, 30, 103

    =Yser Canal=, 3, 15, 17, 23, 25, 26, 68


    Zandvoorde, 4, 5, 7, 48, 61

    Zelobes, 124

    Zevecoten, 109, 115

    Zevencote, 28

    =Zillebeke=, 3, 19, 42, 43, 102, =103=, =104=, 105

    Zollebeke, 48

    Zonnebeke, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 28, 29, 48, =63=

    Zuydschoote, 15

    Zwarteleen, 9, 23



CONTENTS

                                                         PAGES
    FOREWORD                                                 3
    THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE, 1914 (1st Battle of Ypres)     4--11
    SECOND BATTLE OF YPRES                              14--16
    THE ALLIES OFFENSIVE, 1917 (3rd Battle of Ypres)    20--23
        1st Phase                                       23--26
        2nd Phase                                       26--27
        3rd Phase                                       28--29
        4th Phase                                       30--31
        5th Phase                                       32--33
        6th Phase                                       34--35
    GERMAN OFFENSIVE, 1918                                  37
    BATTLE OF THE FLANDERS HILLS                        38--40
    CAPTURE OF KEMMEL HILL                              41--42
    LAST GERMAN ATTACK, 1918                                43
    THE ALLIES' VICTORY OFFENSIVE, 1918                 44--47
    VISIT TO THE BATTLEFIELDS                          48--133
        First Day                                      48--107
        Second Day                                    108--133
    CHIEF HISTORICAL EVENTS                             69--71
    BRITISH FORCES ENGAGED                            137--141
        British Expeditionary Force, 1914             138--139
        1st Battle of Ypres, 1914                          139
        2nd Battle of Ypres, 1915                          140
        3rd Battle of Ypres, 1916                          141
    INDEX TO NAMES OF PLACES MENTIONED IN THIS VOLUME 142--143


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Transcriber's notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Hyphen removed: "iron[-]work" (page 123).

Pages 25, 142: "Kortekeert" changed to "Kortekeer".

Page 25: "Ypers" changed to "Ypres" (on the right of the Ypres-Roulers
Road).

Page 26: "asault" changed to "assault" (they took by assault the
village).

Page 32: "Houlthulst" changed to "Houthulst" (the south-western edge of
Houthulst Forest).

Page 37: "of" changed to "to" (the driving back to the Channel coast).

Page 71: "coverd" changed to "covered" (waterways are now covered).

Page 101: "tmypana" changed to "tympana" (whose tympana are decorated).

Page 116: "Itinerery" changed to "Itinerary" (See Itinerary p. 108).





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