A Tour of Boesinghe Part Nine – Lizerne Demarcation Stone & Belgian Carabiniers Plaque

A mile and a half north of Boesinghe we find ourselves in the centre of the little village of Lizerne, about 900 hundred yards west of the Yser Canal, where, at the crossroads at its centre, another Demarcation Stone shows once again where the Germans were halted in 1918.

I believe the correct position for this stone should be some 500 yards further west, at the even smaller hamlet of Zuidschote, reached by a few German troops, but the majority got to approximately here before they were halted.  However, Lizerne is an important place for other reasons, reasons for which we must again go back three years to the spring of 1915.

Three days after the first gas attacks, German troops reached the eastern banks of the canal opposite Lizerne and began to cross the canal.  Despite stiff resistance from the Belgian Carabiniers holding the line, the Germans took Lizerne, but by then momentum was waning, and on 27th April French troops retook Lizerne, pushing the Germans out of the hamlet, and although it would be several weeks, by mid-May, French & Belgian troops had cleared the western bank of Germans,…

……and as the Demarcation Stone shows, it would be 1918 before they returned, when once again they would get little further.

Unlike the one we saw a couple of posts ago in Boesinghe, this Stone bears a Belgian helmet – note the lion on the front.

When the Demarcation Stones were first proposed, the Belgian Touring Club planned to fund sixteen, and the Ypres League another twelve.  In the end only six Ypres League Stones were erected for financial reasons, but all sixteen Belgian Touring Club Stones were completed, and this is one of them.

I wonder whether vehicle or vandal removed the missing grenade.

That way leads back to Boesinghe,…

…but we are going to leave Lizerne by the road north out of the village, where,…

…within a hundred yards or so, there is a plaque on the outside of this building…

…that remembers the Belgian Carabiniers who died here in the face of the first German gas attacks in April 1915,…

…and I shall relate their part in the story next post.

In the meantime, this view looks back towards the crossroads at the centre of Lizerne, the Carabiniers plaque on the building on our right, but we have a half mile trip in the opposite direction to reach our next destination.

But before we do, here’s a trench map showing the various stops we shall be making in the Lizerne area, the Demarcation Stone marked in red, and the Carabiniers plaque in yellow.  The map also shows the German trenches in red lining the eastern bank of the canal, the Allied front line doing likewise, marked by a dotted blue line, on the western bank, just a matter of feet between the opposing armies, and showing quite clearly that we are north of the Ypres Salient here.

Lizerne, past and present.  Our next stop, where the green square is marked on the trench map, remembers the Belgian Grenadiers who gave their lives to prevent the Germans from breaking through in the spring of 1915.

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