The battle of Messines Ridge


Departing from De Panne we drive towards the Ypres region. Our first stop is Loker, the village that served as headquarters for the Irish troops in June 1917. Here Willie Redmond, MP, often dined at the local monastery, where he would also be buried after that fateful 7th June 1917. From Loker we drive on to Kemmel, to see an introduction film on the famous mine battle of Messines Ridge. Next we drive on to Spanbroekmolen Crater, the so-called Pool of Peace and one of the largest mine craters on the Western front. Several mine craters are still visible in the landscape of Wijtschate and Messines.

We pass by the place where Willie Redmon, MP, got wounded and aided by John Meeke. In real life they were adversaries concerning the politics at their home country, but during the war they fought side by side. Next we drive up to Messines Ridge Cemetery, where we have a look at one of the New Zealand Memorials to the Missing. Not far from the cemetery is also the obelisk that reminds us of the great effort of the ANZACs during the capture of Messines on 7th June 1917. Of course we also visit the Island of Ireland Peace Park.

Lunch is possible at The Peace Village or the Menin Road Museum or it is also possible at the In Flanders Fields Museum if a visit to the museum is added to the itinerary. Return to De Panne or start a new itinerary in the Ypres region.