Ypres war cemetery

Old Nov 13th, 2006, 01:28 AM
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Ypres war cemetery

During our trip to Europe next year we hope to be able to visit the Railway Dugouts burial ground, about two and a half miles from Ypres (Ieper) in Belgium. We'll be coming from London. I'd like some help on how to get there. Do we fly/train to Lille then from there what's the best way to get to Ieper? Are we able to hire a car in Ieper to be able to visit the cemetery or maybe taxi? Any ideas would be very much appreciated.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 01:47 AM
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Cross-border regional trains are always messy in Europe. Quickest thing, surely, is to hire a car at Lille station (don't even think about flying: Lille station takes less time to get to from London than Heathrow does, and there's only about one flight a century). Return it to Lille: whether you're going back to London or not, Lille has excellent train connections to most of northern Europe. There are a lot more WW1 memorials and relics than just the Dugouts, and you may as well take a bit more in while you're there.

Mrs F and I always get lost (and VERY cross with each other) on the Lille-Tourcoing road system, and getting out of Lille (the station's obviously in the middle of town) always seems a real pain - but maybe that's just us. In your shoes, we'd get the train to Calais-Frethun, which is pretty well on the motorway system and actually is only a few minutes further away from Ypres.

Remember the practice in the area of signing places according to the language of where the sign is. In French-speaking places (as in English), the town you're looking for is Ypres. In Flemish-speaking areas, the town you're returning to (Lille in English and French) is signed Rijssel
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 02:03 AM
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Flanneruk's suggestion of renting a car in Calais is good; it's only about an hour's drive from Calais to Ieper.
Also have a look at http://www.inflandersfields.be/
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 02:17 AM
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Thank you flanneruk and Tulips for your suggestions which are taken on board. However, never having driven in Europe and never having driven on the right (we're Australian) we're a bit apprehensive about driving ourselves.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 02:39 AM
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The least painful self-drive option is Calais' out of town Eurostar station, Frethun, whence the roads are fine and you've no town centres to navigate.

Driving on the wrong side, especially starting in France where roads are typically wide and empty, really isn't that difficult. Hiring a private driver from Lille will cost several arms and legs - and he'll be French anyway.

Some alternatives:
- Get a train to Ypres from Brussels, rather than from Lille. Railway Dugout's only 2 km from the centre of Ypres. Look for local trains at bahn.de
- Google "battlefield tours". There are a number of companies organising coach tours starting both from SE England and from the main railway stations around Flanders. They obviously have a British bias, and there are a number of very large graves in the Ypres area that many will concentrate on - but a bit of emailing should throw up those that take in areas of particular ANZAC interest
- Go to the "visiting graves" section of the CWGC website for other ways of getting there.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Thanks flanneruk. We'll look into each of those suggestions. I'd already searched battlefield tours and found one that might suit our needs. Thanks again.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 03:36 AM
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If you decide to go by train from Lille/Rijsel to Ieper/Ypres, you have to change trains in Kortrijk/Courtrai.

Do note that a Eurostar train from London will arrive in Lille-Europe, and the train to Kortrijk will leave from Lille-Flandres. Both stations are about 10 min walking away from each other, but well sign-posted.

Although a bit longer in time, it might be easier to take the Eurostar to Brussels, as flanneruk suggested.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Adelaide

We picked a tour up in Brugge where there are a number of operators that take you on full-day battlefield tours to Ypres, Menin Gate, Passchendaele etc.

There were only four of us in the small mini-bus and the driver/guide was wonderful. He made a point right at the very beginning of the trip of asking if anyone had a 'special' place they wanted to visit for personal reasons, and he would do his best to take them there. I asked about a particular Ypres battlefield where my grandfather had fought and he was good enough to keep his promise and we spent about 20 minutes there.

It might be worth checking the Brugge operators. We were collected from our hotel at 8am and were returned there at 6pm. Lunch (and umbrellas!) were included. The cost was 45 euro per person.

Joe
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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In case you haven't found it, here's the CWGC directions to Railway Dugouts cemetery.
http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_...y=56000&mode=1
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for all that help. Train via Brussels is a looking a good idea. Yes, I've got a lot of material from the CWGC site on the Dugouts cemetery and my wife's uncle who is buried there.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Adelaide

As an Australian, there's lots of interest in the area around Ypres.

We drove from the Somme area - and got lost around Lille - I think this is the norm! But we were really glad to have a car in that area - there's some wonderful things to see if you're interested in Australian war history.

Polygon Wood was my favourite of the lot. So many Aussies died.

We stayed at Varlet Farm and that was great. Happy to supply details.
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Old Nov 13th, 2006, 05:32 PM
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There are a number of mini-bus tours you can take from Brugge.

http://www.brugge.be/internet/en/toe...g/mini_bus.htm

We used Quasimodo and it was well worth it.

If you haven't already read it, I suggest "They Called in Passchendaele" by Lyn Macdonald.
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 01:39 AM
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margo_oz; I don't know if you heard that just recently they found the remains of four WW1 soldiers, during digging works in a field in Belgium. They were Australian, and had been buried on the battlefield at Passendale. I read that they will do DNA tests to try to find relatives.
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Old Nov 14th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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Yes, Tulips, I did read about that. Every now and then something is found during excavations.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Just came back from 5 weeks travelling throughout Europe. We took the train from Paris to Lille and then on to Brugge. It was fairly easy. We rented a car in Brugge and did a day trip on our own to visit the various war memorials. What I learned is that many of the roads are not marked and it was hard to find our way. We had a great day, but only saw half of what I had hoped to see since I couldn't find the correct roads/hwys that we needed.
Booking a tour would guarantee that you see what you wish to.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 02:28 AM
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Hi Corinne,

Nice to hear you had a nice trip. Booking a GPS with your rental car or taking one with you could also be an option...
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