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Webmatters : Mesen: The Peckham Farm Crater
Rough Map of Area

Peckham Farm Crater

Location

From the village of Wijtschate the first right hand turning is the Hospicestraat leading onto the village square. Take the road towards Kemmel passing Wytschaete Military Cemetery on your right.

At the bottom of the hill you will turn left onto Scheerstraat following the sign for Spanbroekmolen British Cemetery.

Immediately as you turn in you will see the crater in the field on your left. The large clump of trees up to your right is the Spanbroekmolen Crater.

Coming from Spanbroekmolen and Mesen drive out onto the main road to Wijtschate turn right and right again.

Peckham Farm Crater

As you turn onto Scheerstraat Peckham Farm Crater is in the field
In the distance on the right you can see the tower of Mesen Church

 

Background

The Mining War

General Plumer, in command of 2nd Army, realised that any attempted breakout from the Ieper salient would require the taking of the Mesen Ridge. In preparation he had his engineers tunnel under the German lines and lay huge mines along the length of the ridge. Although more were created, nineteen would be detonated in one of the most successful offensives of the war.

The Peckham Farm mine was finished in July 1916, with a gallery 349 metres long and 21 metres down. The total weight of explosives used was slightly less than forty tonnes and created a crater101 metres in circumference when it was detonated by the 250th RE Tunnelling Company on the 7th June 1917.

A month later it was considered far enough behind the lines to be safe for a visit by King George V.

On 7th June 1917 this mine was on the German front line and was the most northerly of the four in front of the 36th (Ulster) Division: the others being Spanbroekmolen and the Kruisstraat double mine.