Pool of Peace – Ypres – World War I

Filled with more than 90,000 lb of explosives (ammonal)!!! Travel with me to The Pool of Peace.

The Spanbroekmolen was, because of its height, a militarily strategic location. From this height, the Germans could closely monitor all Allied movements up to Belle (Bailleul).

In preparation for the Third Battle of Ypres, the Allies had to capture this position and therefore decided to dig several mines below the German-reinforced positions.

During the Second Battle of Messines, nineteen mines were detonated, including the mine on this site, filled with more than 90,000 lb of explosives (ammonal).

The 36th (Ulster) Division soldiers were to assault the German positions on June 7, 1917, after this mine had been ignited. However, the mine igniter faltered and detonated too late. As a result, both German and British soldiers were killed and buried beneath the earth.

In the immediate area, you can find two cemeteries. Many of these allied soldiers who died due to the mine explosion are buried in the Spanbroekmolen Cemetery (in green on the map, address: Scheerstraat, Heuvelland) and in the Lone Tree Military Cemetery (in blue on the map).

In these cemeteries are soldiers buried from the following regiments:

Royal Garrison Artillery, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rifles, Cheshire Regiment, Worcestershire Regiment.

The Spanbroekmolen crater has been the property of Talbot House (see page 128) in Poperinge since 1931 and is called the ‘Pool of Peace.’ It’s 76 meters (250 ft) in diameter and 12 meters (40 ft) deep.