Posted by: sommecourt | 12/04/2009

The Other End of the Front

Having visited the southern end of the Western Front last November (see this entry in the blog), a couple of weeks ago I was out on a battlefield recce with my team of Battlefield Guides, and we visited the northern end of the Western Front where the trenches petered out in the sand of Nieuport, on the Belgian coast. It was a great contrast the mountains of the Vosges, and the woods and wide open fields close to the Swiss border. Here the trenches were on the beach and around the Yser Canal, a position the British Army took over from the Belgians in 1917, and found themselves under attack and pushed back during fighting there in July 1917. Sadly much of the actual frontline area is either developed or part of a Belgian army base, but we got a glimpse of one portion of this sector by going round to where the Yser meets the sea. While I had visited Nieuport before, this was the first time I had gone armed with trench maps and a clear purpose, and it was good, in such a short space of a few months, visit both ends of the Western Front.

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