Hill 60 Ieper (Ypres) Belgium
Hill 60 is a significant memorial site in Belgium. It is a rare example of a preserved battlefield. After the Great War the site was purchased and left as a memorial to the many soldiers whose remains still lie beneath the Hill. It is now maintained by the CWGC.
I found the site with the asistance of a GPS. I travelled from Ieper and turned right at the intersection the was once Hellfire corner. There are signs but they are very easy to miss. I drove a few kilometers upwards through farmland and villages and eventually turned right to Hill 60. The carpark and memorial next to the road showed that we had reached our destination.
Some people describe the area as being very flat. This is not true. In fact Hill 60 is a large mound of dirt on the very top of a gently sloping hill. This site gave a panoramic view of the whole of the Ieper area (not now as trees and buildings block the view) and so the possession of it was contested throughout the war. The hill was created by soil removed from a railway cutting. The rail line is still beside the hill.
The Hill was made virtually impregnable by the Germans, so the British created tunnels beneath the hill and stocked explosives to set off as mines. The Germans also tunnelled to create a form of underground warfare. The site is significant for Australians as the 1st Australian Tunneling Division were responsible for the mines set under 'Hill 60'
There are four panoramas of Hill 60 and one of Hellfire Corner.
1, Hellfire Corner
2. Entrance to the Hill
3. The path to the Queen Victoria Rifles Memorial on top of the hill
4. The path along the top of the hill
5. An intact pillbox on top of the hill
There are many other sites to learn more about Hill 60 such as:
Beneath Hill 60
Hill 60 Memorial