Hill 62, Ieper
Need to have a car if you like to come here, is out of town in Ypres
Hill in the vicinity of Ypres '62 'Indicates that the hill is 62 meters above sea level, came in 1916 in German hands until Canadian troops conquer the hill
Canadians members during this conquest large losses the monument at the top commemorates the fallen Canadian soldiers
Input power has Hill 62 have a beautiful view of the towers of Ypres and immediately notice the strategic importance of a pitch during World War I
The monument stands on a polygonal stone platform situated on a landscaped hill on the front side of the hill is a huge terrace with stairs four levels , built entirely of crushed stone and covered with heavy pink granite
From the monument walk to the definition ( a rubble stone wall ) constructed, from this place one has a good view of the surroundings on the hill, a park was landscaped with flowers and shrubs interspersed with banks of stone
Hill 62 - Sanctuary Wood Museum open everyday
My impression of Hill 62 Museum was that it was an incredible collection of relics...however I was really disappointed in the presentation. I thought it would be so much better had the collection been displayed in a more organized and respectful manner. It seemed somewhat grungy and musty smelling inside the museum and certainly cluttered.
HOWEVER...the outside grounds were really interesting...a large section of land is kept intact or as intact as is possible after almost a hundred years of passing time. You can easily see craters from explosions and there is an example of trench work that is more or less intact.
The museum collection contains equipment removed from the battlefields in the vicinity of Sanctuary Wood, the scene of yet another battle of the Second Battle of Ypres that took place in June of 1916.There is an amazing collection of photographs that you should take the time to look at and an incredible variety of other artifacts that will hold your interest should you decide to visit.
The hours of operation are from 1000 (10:00 Am) until 1900 (7:00 PM) and there is a small admission charge however I cant remember how much it was.
You'll find a small lunch bar where you can have a coffee or tea or sandwiches.
Jaq's story as told to us by our guide.
Jaq,still a boy, returned with his parents to this Hill in 1918 to farm. As they dug and ploughed the land ammunition, shell cases, small arms, helmets, badges, parts of a uniform, bodies and body parts, grave marker stones - and the trenches - were uncovered. In fact all the gruesome paraphenalia of an abandoned battle field.
The appropriate authorities were informed of any human remains which were transferred for identification and proper burial.
Jaq however became a collector, installing the finds in every space he could use in and around the farmhouse. His collection became famous; other people donated their finds to the "museum". Important people came to view it and articles were written about it.
At the outbreak of WW2 Jaq went off to the army , his parents promised to look after the Museum and actually buried most of the contents for safekeeping.
After his discharge Jaq continued the collection which occupies several rooms. In parts there is some sense of order, in others none - a curator's challenge if ever there was!
The chaotic disorder here is at odds with the meticulous care shown in official museums. We did not buy anthing at the cafe except a cold drink that came in a can!
Now an elderly man we expected to meet Jaq who keeps this place going in the midst of the trenches that you can walk through. An eerie, sombre experience.
Sadly Jaq had been taken to hospital a few days before and was said to be very poorly.
I cannot imagine what will happen here in future.
We walked to the top of the ridge on Hill 62 to the Canadian memorial.
It consists of terraced platforms reaching ever higher towards the Top.
Engraved the stonework on the ground there are direction points that show how surrounded the men who fought, and died here were.
There was an additional poignancy in the simplicity of the memoria,l which seems to be part of the now tranquil landscape, and the thought of all those young men who crossed an ocean to go to war in a foreign land.
Leave Ypres via its east gate (Menin Gate). At the traffic lights turn right onto the Ieper-Menen road (Menin Road). In approximately 3 kilomtres take a right turn signposted to Sanctuary Wood (Hill 62) museum.
The Hill 62 Museum is a few kilometres SE of Ieper on the infamous Menin Road. It is signposted to the right.
The Museum is alongside the CWGC Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. For 6 Euros, you are admitted to a small museum containing the detritus of war, including a changing exhibit as more items are dug up on the battlefields and displayed. A recent find includes a rusted and almost complete Lewis machine gun and ammunition.
The main features of the museum are the preserved British frontline trenches that have survived and are looked after by the museums owners. The remains of shattered trees held together with wire remind that the wood is all new since WW1!
First World War museum, preserved trenches and mortar holes.
Walking through the trenches, you can almost go back in time.