The Western Front Today - Hooge Crater

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    My Granddad was around this area ........... so I just can't comment on this - it hurts me to see it ..... but this is a battlefield today ...... :(

    A major theme park today sits on the site of Hooge Chateau, the then Divisional Headquarters of Major General Monro. The Chateau (which formerly hosted both Sir John French and Sir Douglas Haig) was destroyed in a German attack which began on 31 October 1914. On that date the chateau took a direct hit from a German shell, wounding Major-General Monro and killing several of his staff officers.

    Next to the theme park and accompanying hotel, Hotel Kasteel (the latter roughly situated on the site of the original chateau), is a pond formed by a crater from a mine blown by the British on 19 July 1915.

    The pond crater is to the left of the hotel and theme park, and blockhouses (dating from 1916) can still be found nearby, partly submerged under water.

    Hooge is also famed for being the site of the first German flame thrower attack against the British. Using 'Flammenwerfer' equipment - a cylinder strapped to the back of one man, attached to which was a lit nozzle, producing a jet of flame reaching up to 25 yards in length, thick black smoke billowing - the Germans launched a surprise attack at 0315 on 30 July 1915.

    The effect of the dangerous nature of the surprise attack proved terrifying to the British, although the line, initially pushed back, was stabilised later that night by 8th Rifle Brigade and 7th Bn KRRC.

    In two days of severe fighting the British lost 31 officers and 751 other ranks.

    Next to the crater is a recently opened museum, Hooge Crater Museum, situated on the former No Man's Land at Hooge.

    Under private ownership this modern, clean museum contains an outstanding collection of WW1 memorabilia, including armour, equipment, uniforms and artefacts - and even wooden posts originally located at Hellfire Corner.

    Opposite both Hooge Crater and the Museum is Hooge Crater cemetery.
  2. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    Hi Annie,

    No, No, No, the present hotel is on the approximate site of the old stables, the original Chateau was in the what is now the pleasure park. Please find attached the original Hooge Crater of 1915 and where the 14th Division suffered so much in late July, the craters in the hotels grounds are mining craters, both German and British from January and April 1916.


    Attached Files:

  3. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Andy, how timely. Just earlier today I was viewing a video regarding the mines of the Great War. Now, some twelve hours ago, you posted.

    Mine Warfare under the static lines is a rare and esoteric topic. It does not make for gallentry and high drama of the Air War. As far as I know there are no fictional books nor Hollywood cinema regarding this topic.

    You may also note Liverpool Annie's post was dated some six years ago. Since such time, I understand, Annie herself has "gone west", to use a period allusion. She is missed by many.

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