monument tank

Tank Memorial Ypres Salient

Until 1941 there was a tank wreck on the village square of Poelkapelle: the D29 Damon II. The German occupier, however, took him away. Now there is a new monument on that spot that recalls the 'tank war'.

The monument was inaugurated on Saturday 10 October 2009 at Guynemerplein during a grand
tankmemorialceremony. The tank memorial in memory of the well-known French WWI pilot has therefore been joined by the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient. It must put Poelkapelle back on the map of battlefield tourism. What is not unimportant with the commemorations of 100 years of WWI in the period 2014-2018 in prospect.

Provincial governor Paul Breyne outlined the importance of this new monument in 'this quiet village between Ypres and Roeselare': 'Poelkapelle gets another place in battlefield tourism in the Ypres Salient. Poelkapelle1917 Association took the initiative to build a replica of the Poelkapelle tank. This tank reminds of all the tanks that were used here in the Ypres Salient and the 242 tank soldiers buried in the Ypres Salient. The share of tanks in the First World War can not be underestimated. That is emphasized with this monument. '

The Tank Memorial must again attract tourists to Poelkapelle, as when the tank wreck was still there because 'Poelkapelle could become one of the first villages to get acquainted with this war machine. After the war this was not only a tourist attraction, but also a play object of the local youth. We want to keep that memory alive. This is also a call for peace. '
 The ceremony was enlivened by the winders from the Ypres Last Post and the united Scottish bagpipe troops from the region. The most impressive moment was when the local children's choir Littelidoe sang a British song from WWI that reminded of an event in St.-Quentin, in France. The young people did this with conviction, spontaneously but impressively.
The Zonnebeekse WWI digger Johan Vandewalle also confirmed during the ceremony an authentic steel fragment of a tank plate that he found in Poelkapelle at the monument. It also read the letter that Harry Patch, the last British ex-combatant who died this summer, wrote shortly before his death in response to the invitation to attend the ceremony. Patch admired the men in the tanks and congratulated the initiators with this Memorial.

From P1917A, thanks to Johan Vandewalle for donating the tank plate!
Visit the website of the tankmemorial here!