Hospital Pillbox Kazerne Graf Haeseler 3

On the right-hand side of the drive to our farm, Pondfarm, there once stood a World War 1 hospital bunker. This bunker was located close to the well on the south side. It was built above ground level, and all its walls were over 1m. thick (3.2 ft.).

Unlike many other bunkers, no sheets of corrugated iron were used in this instance. Instead, heavy iron beams were used to support the roof. On top of the bunker, about 1metre (3.2 ft.) of earth was laid as camouflage and also to buffer shelling attacks. Construction of the bunker was done at night-time so that it would not attract any attention. This hospital bunker was removed during the summer of 1961, and human remains that were found still inside it were removed by the authorities. The present farmhouse is located about 60 m. (65 yards) from the original farm.

Dimensions of the bunker:
Width: 8m. (26.2 ft)
Length: 42m. (45.9 yards)
Height: approx. 3m. (9.8 ft.) plus a layer of earth on top.
Wall thickness: 1m. (3.2 ft.)
Windows: approx. 40cm x 40 cm (1.3 x 1.3 ft)

Rooms: 6
Dimensions of the rooms: 7m x 7m (7.6 x 7.6 yards). Each room had a window and a vent above.

Groundplan Pillbox

In 1961, the bunker was completely dismantled, though one third of its debris remains. A lot of debris was taken away to be used for roads and as foundations for houses.

(English translation Frank Mahieu and Roger Joye)