Hollandse Schuur

The Dutch Barn farm is situated at an altitude of about 1500 meters northwest of Wytschate and northwest of the Croonaardbos along Vierstraat right from Wytschate to Kemmel.

Photo of the Dutch Barn farm taken from the Vierstraat, just behind the elevation of pasture land lies thes crater mine 3, witch you see at the front left when you get to the farm

Photo taken from Croonaert Chapel Cemetery. The arrow shows the back of Dutch Barn farm

Map of the Dutch Barn craters


The Cropper's 250th Tunneling Company received an order in November 1915 to dig three mines at Dutch Barn farm. Behind the farm is the landscape situated higher, so you can only dig a shaft from the valley to stay out of sight of the higher observatory of the Germans.

The subsoil is saturated with water through the numerous rich streams that run there and the sector that has been thriving with shallow galleries, at a depth of five meters, saves the walls several times, also through shells. One is asked to dig another shaft. On December 18, 1915, excavations are started in the first defensive line,

Due to the bad condition of the site, no second line is provided. An understand was built over the shaft with a machine gun in each opening to mislead the Germans. If a safety guard against a possible destruction by German is taken, a second shaft is started. When you are already 20 meters deep, the hard clay layer is reached and from this you start a gallery which was already under 40 meters below the enemy lines. In March 1916 one had already penetrated 30 meters behind his front posts. In April 1916 the works have to be shut down by the heavy bombings. In May, the work was resumed and the gallery must first be pumped out as it was underground. After day-long pumping you can finally dig further. In June, the 250th Tunnelling Company has already penetrated 250 meters below the no-man's land, notwithstanding the permanent water pollution and the persistent German mortar fire. The gallery was lit after 123 meters, at the end of the straight part, a first load was placed and was called My 1. The room that joins the 120m long to the right, comes to My 3. Where the splitting began, My 2 was placed. All rooms are equipped with their explosives on August 20, 1916, and the corridors are closed, after which there are no more excavations at high depth. The Germans do not trust and let camouflage charges jump in their own ranks to throw a barricade against their lower opponent. On May 11, Koln land was named the first side of the main gallery. On June 11, 1916, after Kassel's end of the main gallery, Kassel follows the left side. Thereafter, no significant camouflage charges were blown up and the Germans pulled back their front posts to the second line in spring 1917. On June 7, 1917, those infamous mining explosions followed by allies.

Crater mine 3 at the front left of the farm

Crater mine 2 located left behind the crater mine 3

Crater mine 1 is at the right rear of the farm, all these craters are full of water and lie in the meadows around the farm, the water is used to feed the cattle.

The farm seen from Croonaert Chapel Cemetery.

Thanks to the current residents of the farm, who gave me permission to visit and the photos I should take.

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Hollandsche Schuur
Aerial view of the three craters on the Dutch Barn farm View of the meadow in witch crater mine 3 is located View on the Vierstraat direction Kemmel and Mount Kemmel Air view of the Dutch Barn farm Sketch of the Dutch Barn mine