The industrial estate along the Ieper-IJzer Canal
The war is ever present in and around Ieper, even today. Sometimes, it is visible in the landscape, in the many hundreds of cemeteries, monuments and relics that dot the countryside; sometimes, it is hidden underground. If you dig down to a depth of 60-70 centimetres, you can still find the war everywhere. This quickly became apparent in the years after 1992 when work was started to develop a new industrial estate along the Ieper-IJzer Canal. After just a few days, the ground clearance teams came across the first traces of the war: unexploded shells, trench structures, and human remains. Between the start of work in 1992 and 2008, the remains of 205 soldiers of three different nationalities were recovered.
The City purchased a small area of land through which Yorkshire Trench ran during the war years, with the intention that it should be recreated by the In Flanders Fields Museum. In close collaboration with the archaeological team, the trench was restored along its original trajectory, including the entrance and exit to a deep dug-out dating from 1917. A number of information boards and a ground plan of the dug-out marked out on the surface help to make the war of the trenches more intelligible to visitors.
The Yorkshire Trench & Dug-out site is included in the route of the walk that starts from the Klein Zwaanhof info-point. A digital application is available to accompany this walk.