A COMMUNICATION TRENCH AT ZILLEBEKE

The photograph was taken with Zillebeke Lake behind the camera position. The tower of Zillebeke Church can be clearly seen on the right of the picture.

In 1917 the scene was quite different. Communication trenches had replaced the tidy path, for the area was constantly under German artillery fire. The end of the path joins the main street of the village; the junction being known as Hallebast Corner – a name quickly altered by British troops to "HELLBLAST CORNER".

 

In March 1917, the poet and writer Edmund Blunden of the 11th Royal Sussex on his way to the front via Zillebeke Churchyard and the main street, frequently used the trench. He described the corner as a spot "where usually one might see not far off what enthusiasts called ‘splendid bursts ’ of five-nines with water music."

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