Bayernwald trenches

The Bayernwald trenches, near Wytschaete, in the Ypres Salient, were discovered and excavated, in the 1970s, by a local teacher and amateur archaeologist, Andre Becuart. Since his death in 1986 the recontructed trenches had fallen into dis-repair but upkeep has been taken on by the local authority. Entrance is through a coded lock, the pin for which is issued by the Kemmel Tourist Office when tickets are purchased (3 eu each, Tel: 0032 57 45 04 55)

Dug by the Germans in the winter of 1914/15, these are part of the support trenches of the front line, which runs from here in a more or less straight line to St Eloi to the North East, curving round towards the West of Wytschaete to the South. The original forward trench was about 50 yards in front of the wood, in what is now a field.

1916 German trench maps show strong points (Anna & Berta) approximately at each end of the current bus parking bay on the nearby road. Further to the South West, at Hollandscheshur farm, was a further strongpoint, Gunther, destroyed at 3:10 am on the morning of the 7th June 1917 whan three of the nineteen mines fired at the opening of the battle of Messines were exploded under it.

Bayernwald now remains partly un-renovated within the wire. Care should be taken when exploring, there are two mine shafts still in place (both easy to see).

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Shelling shelters

Still awaiting restoration.

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