The Topography of the Ypres Salient

Prompted by a comment from one of our newer readers (yes, that’s you, Meester Bond*), a little while back, here’s a topographical map of the Ypres Salient (scale at the bottom, the dates marked across the map referring to progress made during Third Ypres, British trenches in blue, German in red) which shows, first and foremost, the ring of low hills to the south and east of Ypres, the city itself marked in mauve, along with a few of the areas we have visited over the years.  Beginning at the bottom of the map, the light blue area is Ploegsteert Wood, site of our very first tour from ten years ago, with the Messines Ridge (Messines itself at the southern end, Wytschaete at the northern) in dark green directly above, and not so far to its left, at the edge of the map, the summit of Mont Kemmel, marked in light green.  Travelling north along the line of hills, passing the red dot (Hill 60), we arrive at the Menin Road, coloured in yellow, where the small beige oval marks the area around Hooge.  Just to its right Polygon Wood is marked in turquoisey-green, and the Passchendaele Ridge, with the eponymous village at its northern end, winds its way north in yellow.  The two blue squares to the north of Ypres mark Boesinghe (dark blue) and Langemark (light blue).  Down near the bottom right corner, Wervik, where I base myself, chez Baldrick, on my Flanders trips, is highlighted in dark brown.

*Alan, not James.

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Mont Kemmel Part Thirteen – The French Ossuary

This is the French ossuary on the western slopes of the Kemmelberg.  Continue reading

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Mont Kemmel Part Twelve – On Mont Kemmel: The Heroic Hill

A little French booklet that I picked up for a song earlier this year (from France, via Abe Books, no extra tax, thank you very much).  Published in 1920, and entirely appropriate to our current tour, this post features some relevant extracts for your reading pleasure.  Continue reading

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Mont Kemmel Part Eleven – The Kemmelberg

Mont Kemmel, sometime in the early 20th Century.  Continue reading

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Mont Kemmel Part Ten – Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery

It’s getting late in the day as we arrive at the entrance to Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery.  Continue reading

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Mont Kemmel Part Nine – Kemmel Churchyard

Before the war, Kemmel church looked like this.  Continue reading

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Mont Kemmel Part Eight – La Laiterie Military Cemetery

Half a mile south of the American Memorial we visited last post, we find La Laiterie Military Cemetery.  Continue reading

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