Hooge, Belgium

During the First World War Hooge was the site of a château which was used as the Divisional Headquarters for the area. The staff at the château, from the 1st and 2nd Divisions were all killed when the château was shelled on 31 October 1914. German forces attacked the château between 24 May and 3 June 1915, and, despite the detonation of a British mine by the 3rd Division, leaving a massive crater, took control of the château and the surrounding area on 30 July. The château and the crater (craters being strategically important in relatively flat countryside) were taken by the British 6th Division on 9 August. It was reclaimed by the Germans on 16 June 1916 and retaken by the British on 31 July 1917 when the 8th Division managed to push past it by about a mile.

Hooge became the location for a war cemetery in October 1917. Opposite the cemetery there is now a museum, founded in 1994.

The Germans retook the site in April 1918 as part of the Spring Offensive but were expelled from the area by the British on 28 September as the offensive faltered. During this time, the chateau was completely destroyed along with the entire village; several large craters from underground mines were blown over the course of the 1917 fighting. The site of the chateau is now a theme park. Close to the theme park is a hotel, and next to that a pond formed by a crater from a mine blown up by the British on 19 July 1915. Among those killed in the fighting in Hooge was Gerard Anderson, the British hurdler who participated in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and died in November 1914.

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