Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum

This museum was started in 1919 by the grandfather of the present owner, who preserved part of the trench system that remained in what the British Army called Sanctuary Wood. The wood got its name in the First Battle of Ypres in 1914, when men separated from their regiments came to this wooded area – a safe area away from the main fighting, a place of ‘sanctuary’ – to await to rejoin their unit. By 1915, the wood, on the lower slopes of Hill 62, was part of the front line area and remained so until 1917. In June 1916, the Germans attacked and broke through the 3rd Canadian Division who held this sector, and fighting took place within the area of the wood. The wood was captured by the Germans in April 1918, and retaken finally in the Fourth Battle of Ypres.




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