The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Occupied by the Germans since November 1914 (and the scene of many desperate and gallant encounters during the 'First Ypres' fighting) Messines village formed part of the second objective of II Anzac Corps. 'As the southern buttress of the Ridge, the village had been converted into a fortress to be held at all costs; a strong trench system with a deep wire entanglement encircled it, and for the inner defence, based upon five concrete strongpoints and machine-gun posts, every available cellar had been converted into a shell-proof dugout'. ('Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1917' (Volume II), compiled by Brigadier-General Sir James E Edmonds, London, HMSO, 1948:p 63).

New Zealand troops (4th Rifles and 2nd Canterbury) occupied the village after a fierce struggle.

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