Nieuwpoort is a town in the Province of West Flanders on the south-west side of the River IJzer (Yser), three kilometres from the sea. Note that you are travelling towards Nieuwpoort (Stad) and not Nieuwpoort-Bad which is on the coast.
The main road into the town is the N 39 (Astridlaan) and this brings you out to the banks of the IJzer river. Stay on the Astridlaan, do not follow the signs for Centrum.
You will come out at a large roundabout.
The road system can appear overly complicated by the double tram line that runs along it. Be very careful that you do not turn down it instead of the road.
The memorial is close to the King Albert Monument and the Westfront Centre (worthy of a visit for an explanation of the inundation of the polders via the nearby sluice gates).
At the roundabout turn right towards Middlekerke. This requires crossing the tramway before you do so. The memorial will soon be visible off to your left. Follow the signs for Middlekerke then Westfront. Parking can be had alongside the CWGC Nieuport Memorial to the Missing. To visit the Ganzepoot sluice system it would be easiest to park near to the Westfront and then walk around the gate system.
In October 1914 the German arrived in front of Nieuwpoort at the western limit of the Race to the Sea. Although French reserves were sent to assist the Belgian Army, there was grave doubt about the Allies’ ability to hold the line long enough.
On 25th October 1914 King Albert gave his permission to commence flooding the polders between the IJzer River and the railway line between Nieuwpoort and Diksmuide (The railway embankment which formed a barrage against the floods is now a popular cycle track — Frontzate).
Having inundated the area the army needed to maintain the level of water and on 2nd September 1915 formed a company of Sapeurs-Pontonniers to carry out this task.
During the war twenty-seven members of the company were killed and 296 wounded, in particular after 1917, many of them by gas shelling.
Léopold Calberg was a member of the Sapeurs-Pontonniers (2nd Battalion of the Génie (Engineers), of the 6th Belgian Army Division) who was struck by a bullet whilst working near the locks. He was buried on 18th October 1917 at the Belgian Military Cemetery at Adinkerke.
Ici est tombé le 16 Octobre 1917 le lieutenant du Génie Belge,
Léopold Calberg des Sapeurs-Pontonniers. RIP.
Lieutenant of the Lock Engineers, Léopold Calberg was killed here on the 16th October 1917. RIP.
There is also a street named after him in the town.