Sterrebos - Oosttaverne Wood

In the hamlet of Oosttaverne, a pre-emption was established during the years 1680-1684, which was built under Louis XIV by Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban for Ypres. In the first world war there was a German defense line the 'Oosttavernelinie' that ran from north of the Leie to the Ieper-Coming Canal east of Oosttaverne. The forest was larger in the time than it is today.

Refugees in 1914
At the start of the arrival of the Germans many people flew away, in the picture below you see refugees on the way from Oosttaverne to Wijtschate. Photo: IWM

Attack on Oosttaverne Wood 1917
Rondellwald named by the Germans

The lost forest was located about 1500 meters northeast of Wijtschate and occupied by the Germans. On 7th June 1917, it was captured by the 19th Western and 11th Division. To the west of Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery there are two concrete structures not far apart. Near the intersection of Hollebekestraat-Rijselstraat, called "Strength".

The Germans built this into a strengthened position. The British fought this position with artillery fire. The Australians could take the Oosttavernelijn, from the forest there were only some stumps left over.

A view of the destruction of the forest during the war was taken back on June 11, 1917 by the British. Photo: IWM

Remains of a German narrow-gauge at the edge of the forest. Photo: IWM

German fortified position in Oosttaverne Wood on June 11, 1917. Photo: IWM

British officers on the conquered East Tavern Line of Germans June 11, 1917. Photo: IWM

German observation station is outside of Oosttaverne Wood. Photo: IWM

Destroyed German observation post lies outside the forest. Photo: IWM

Oosttaverne Wood cemetery

Oosttaverne Wood cemetery is located along the Rijselstraat at the intersection with the Hollebekestraat at 1500 meters northeast of Wijtschathorp. At the back, the limits were laid during the period from 7 June to September 1917, after the war, graves were placed in the vicinity of the cemeteries. There are two concrete structures and the memorial for the 19th Western Division.

Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery entrance
About me
German Operating crew of a 4. Guns in a fireline at East Tavern 20.01.1916 Two colonels and their deputies at the entrance of a shelter in a German communication loop. Photo: IWM German machine gun position, destroyed by the British artillery shovel on June 11, 1917. Photo: IWM British artillery observes officers of Royal Artillery in German conquered observation post near Oosttaverne Wood June 11, 1917. Photo: IWM Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery View of the mass grave and the Cross of Sacrifice View of the graves and Cross of Sacrifice