Back Then
Note Sign and Camouflaging

For four years, the main easterly access for the British Army to the Ypres Salient was via the twelve mile Ypres-Menin road, known as the Menin Road. About a mile out of Ypres, the Ypres-Roulers railway crossed the road. This intersection provided a perfect bulls eye for German gunners and their spotters.

Because the spot was preregistered and under constant observation by the opposition, it was a place where troops, supply trains and artillery caissons felt extremely vulnerable. The Tommies quickly nicknamed the spot "Hell Fire Corner". And it became standard practice for troops to transit the site only at a full run, for horses a gallop and for lorries with the accelerator pushed to the floor.

The location became notorious throughout the British Army as the most dangerous spot on the Western Front and the troops even mounted a sign at the crossing. Today the railroad still runs on the same right of way, but the postwar surrounding structures all have a commercial look to them. Pilgrims beware, though! It's rumored that there is a speed trap located nearby.

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Additions and comments on these pages may be directed to: Michael E. Hanlon (medwardh@hotmail.com) regarding content, or to Mike Iavarone (mikei01@execpc.com) regarding form and function. Original artwork & copy; © 1998-2001, TGWS.