First World War bomb closes cemetery in West Flanders
The municipal cemetery in Avelgem had to be closed at the weekend after a gravedigger came upon an unexploded bomb
Though it sounds dramatic, munitions are regularly unearthed in West Flanders, leftovers from the First World War. It’s often farmers that dig up munitions – sometimes dozens at a time. Three years ago, 500 mortar rounds were uncovered in a field in West Flanders – the largest cache in years.
There’s even a name for the phenomenon in Flanders: de Ijzeren oogst, or the iron harvest. Some unexploded munitions contain poisonous gas. Dovo, Belgium’s bomb disposal unit, collects and disarms the munitions, adding them to the stockpile in Poelkapelle, West Flanders (pictured).
First World War
lives lost in West Flanders
annual visitors to the Westhoek
First Battle of Ypres