Battle of Polygon Wood
Battle of Polygon Wood
4.5

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles128 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
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Average
3
Poor
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Derrick M
Stowmarket, UK35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
We were over in Belgium for our annual geocaching remembrance event at Polygon Wood, and The Black Watch Memorial
These are such lovely peaceful places, well worth a visit if you’ve never been.
We were also there because we support the Brothers in Arms Charity in nearby Zonnebeke.
We are raising money to build a lasting memorial to 2 Australian brothers that served here in WW1, one was killed and buried here but his body was never recovered until found nearly 100 years later in 2013 by a local farmer digging footings for a new building. The grave site was not marked on any maps. There where 6 bodies in total but this one sparked interest as to why it was wrapped in blankets and facing in a different way to the other 5. On research it was found out that he was one of two brothers, the surviving brother had buried his sibling in such a way that he would recognise him when he came back to collect him after the war was over.
On return to Belgium the grave site could not be found.
Unfortunately the surviving brother did not see his brothers body being recovered in 2013, because he had passed away a few years earlier.
The story that was narrated by the surviving brothers family inspired the farmer so much that he set up this charity and donated a piece of his land so he could create a lasting memorial to the brothers. The brothers family have been involved and have visited the site a number of times.
Our geocaching group got involved a couple of years later and have been raising money since. The memorial is half built and is waiting for the bronze statue of the 2 brothers to be completed and delivered to site.
The charity is based at the local cafe/pub called the Dereve, where there is also a small museum dedicated to the brothers.
My wife and I just love visiting Belgium and go there as many times as we can.
Written January 8, 2020
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Eilidh
Angus, UK17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
We spent a good few hours here exploring the cemeteries, the Brothers in Arms memorial, Black Watch corner and the wood itself. The wood has many hidden secrets so you need to spend some good time here and find it all. There are bunkers, shrapnel, and ‘baby elephant’ shelters to be found so I’d recommend spending a good few hours here. There are marked paths and maps to follow so you can’t get lost.
Written August 25, 2023
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Peter B
Wyndham Vale, Australia201 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Solo
I decided to walk to Polygon Wood from the museum, through the fields where 100 years ago, men fought and died. After about 30 minutes, I arrived at Polygon wood, to spend some time at a beautifully laid out cemetery, and the monuments to the Australian and New Zealand forces.
Written September 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellemay 🍹🐠🐳
Sydney, Australia47,396 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Polygon Wood Memorial of the Australian 5th Division lies deep in the forest along a country road located between Ypress and Zonnebeke in Belgium.

The land was given to Australia after WW1 for the fifth Division’s tribute to those who fought with between 1916 – 1918 in France and Belgium.

The moment you step outside your car and walk slowly through the forest path to the Memorial you are totally overwhelmed with a sense of utter sadness. The path leads you to a large Memorial with steps up to view the hundred’s of graves that are dotted in straight rows most only have etched on them “ A solider of the Great War “ on their headstones. Others, names carry a heavy burden with ages between 19 and 26.

As I walked around the grounds I was overcome with a pure feeling of serenity and peacefulness. It’s was a totally spiritual feeling which is almost intangible and unimaginable to describe. The knowledge that these men can never come home is a sadness which lies deep in most Australians souls and thoughts ; our true heroes.

As an Australian this precious and treasured memorial is a MUST see on any Australian / New Zealander’s list.
Written May 28, 2009
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Chris Barr
Darlington, UK790 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Friends
This was the first memorial / cemetery we visited on our trip and we were the only people there.
It is such a peaceful place with only the sound of the birds singing and it was immaculately well kept.
Other reviews have explained the history in much better detail than I ever could so I will not try to compete with them.
Very important to visit here to pay your respects to the heroic job the Australian and New Zealand soldiers did so far from there home.
Written May 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Johan O
Paris, France193 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Having visited many war graves in the past, and not always impressed by efforts of public servants to honour are brave who died in all wars( having received a brave conduct award myself), sadly grandiose memorials for the died and no help for the still living.
But I was impressed by the individuals like Johan vandewalle, who was part of the team that found John hunter( an Australian solder ) and decide to create a monument to the John and Jim hunter ist polygon wood.
Today I was there while he showed 3 movies about this storey and also a movie of frank Hurley to a group of Australians in his resterant next door.
This memorial project is called brothers in arms and with the help of a mr Price ( australian radio announcer) suffient money has been collected, without government ar RSL helpfor a life size bronze monument of the brothers.
Hopefully you will be able to see it in future years.
Written August 14, 2019
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PJLOCK
Chesterfield, UK328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
Has Information boards at the cemetery telling you all about the cemetery and woods. A must visit walked in the woods and you come across old bunkers. A very well kept cemetery. A must visit to pay your respects.
Written March 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Skeney57
Sydney, Australia21,999 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Couples
During heavy fighting in September 1917 my Grandfather and his compatriots of the Australian 5th Division recaptured the "Woods" which by that time had been completely decimated. Today , a 100 years on the forest has been re-birthed and the Cemeteries are pristine and orderly unlike the battles that created them ! Well worth a stop & remembrance with the NZ Cemetery !
Written January 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Del C
Warminster, UK279 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Couples
the car park is set away from the main cemetery, it was the site of an original firing range for the Belgium army hence the man made hill. when you walk down the road and turn left into the wood, follow the main path to the cemetery and memorial. when you leave, cross over the road and find a memorial with a small cemetery which is very interesting as they were buried as they fell.
Written July 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tony c
Portsmouth, UK218 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Family
The statue of a kilted Highlander will be the first and only memorial dedicated specifically to the Black Watch fallen of the Great War and it is the only statue being erected by any of the Scottish regiments during the four years of commemorative events.

Black Watch Corner saw remnants of 1st Battalion taking part in a successful ground-holding action. Along with other withdrawing British forces they fought against a numerically stronger force from the Kaiser’s Prussian Guard in November 1914. This action brought to an end the First Battle of Ypres and their heroic stand was to prove decisive because it stopped the German advance to the coast. If they had broken through to the coast the war would have been over and lost. It seemed the most appropriate place to erect a monument to the fallen of the Black Watch.

Although the battle at Black Watch Corner in Belgium in 1914 was a bloody and terrible time for the Regiment, it is heartening to know that the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice will live on in Flanders. It is fitting that 100 years later we still acknowledge that sacrifice.”

The imposing statue stands four and a half metres high, atop a base of Scottish granite and depicts a Black Watch soldier in First World War fighting uniform of kilt, jacket and bonnet with his Lee Enfield rifle and 18-inch bayonet.

Renowned Scottish sculptor Alan Herriot of Edinburgh sculpted the bronze soldier

The statue was unveiled and dedicated at Black Watch Corner in Belgium on Saturday, May 3. Handed over for safe-keeping to the townspeople of nearby Zonnebeke.

Over 200 serving soldiers and veterans were here to attend the dedication ceremony,
Written April 20, 2017
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Battle of Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke

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