Aftermath: This Place Was Hooge
The Aftermath period of the Great War is an intriguing one as we know when the war ended, we know that people came back, we know that communities were rebuilt and cemeteries and memorials constructed. But actually it is probably the least documented period connected with the war and one that many find fascinating, so it is always good to find some images connected with it and this is part of a small collection recently acquired for the Great War Photos archives, and a new image will be appearing every Friday this month.
This image shows the community that the village of Hooge had become after the war. Hooge was just a hamlet on the Menin Road, east of Ypres, but it had become a pivotal site during the Battles of Ypres and had literally been blown off the map by 1918. A large Hooge Cemetery was constructed close to the site of these buildings, most of which are either recovered Nissen huts from army camps near Ypres or the type of provisional housing that was provided in 1919; all that most Belgians had to live in when they came back after the war. In most cases Belgian families lived in these until the 1922/23/24 period when the main rebuilding took place; hard for us to imagine now.
Paul, this is a great picture and I agree that many of my guests ask about the post war reconstruction on the battlefields. I’m glad you say it is not well documented, as that is what I also say, although it possibly is more so in French or Belgian archives than in our own. As we eat lunch at Nik’s cafe or stay at the Kastel hof, despite my best endeavours, I don’t think people really understand what it was like at Hooge by 1918, and you comment ‘blown from the map’ is as good as any. I’ll be looking forward to more of these each Friday. Thanks, as ever, for sharing.
05/04/2013 at 07:28
Thanks for this Paul. As you probably remember, we’ve spoken a few times about the period after the war, the reconstruction, how the land was returned to cultivation and the efforts that must have been involved. You’re right – I’ve looked for a long time for books on the subject and it’s very overlooked.
06/04/2013 at 11:26
Reblogged this on audrarayne14 and commented:
tits sad to think people had to live in this.
18/04/2013 at 14:46