This twin village is inextricably linked with the events of the First World War. In particular, the name of Langemark recalls a dark page in the annals of German history. It was here that the so-called ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ (the decimation of the student battalions of 1914) took place and it is here that the sombre but imposing German military cemetery, with its 44,000 burials, now stands. On the other side of the village, near Cement House Cemetery, a memorial was unveiled on 27 September 2007 by the late Harry Patch, the last surviving veteran of the Great War. The memorial marks the spot where he crossed the Steenbeek stream during the Battle of Passendale in 1917. A further monument in the centre of Poelkapelle commemorates the French air-ace Georges Guynemer (53 victories), who disappeared in the skies above the village on 11 September 1917. His body was never found.
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