Jünger Ernst

Jünger Ernst
Jünger Ernst

Ernest Jünger was a German author of novels, journals and essays. Just nineteen years old, he served in the German army during World War I and fought on the Flemish Front twice. He documented his experiences in memoir 'In Stahlgewittern’ (’Storm of Steel’) in which he describes his march from Staden to the front of the Third Battle of Ypres in great detail. The area around Westrozebeke is discussed elaborately in this passage. After the war, he was awarded the Iron Cross and the ‘Pour …

Dokter Heinrich

Heinrich Dokter was born on January 23rd, 1884. In August 1914, Heinrich was conscripted into the German army and grouped with a battalion of Jägers, a light infantry unit. The battalion suffered from a shortage in clothes and weapons.  After a short training period, Dokter was made to join the 4th reserve army in Belgium in their battle against the British professional army. He was dangerously wounded in an Allied offensive on December 16th, 1914. His injuries too serious to be treated in on…

Kindt Jules

Jules Kindt was born in Roeselare on March 2nd, 1881. He spent the first few years of his life in Northern France, but returned to Roeselare after the death of his father. The family moved in with Jules’ grandmother. His brother and sister died in infancy. Jules’ mother remarried and left him in the care of his grandmother, who was not well-off at the time. Eventually, he moved in with his mother and her new husband. Despite his mother’s opposition to the match, he married Stefanie Delang…

Gits Jules

Gits Jules
Gits Jules

Jules Gits was born in Izegem on December 12th, 1864. Doctor and father of 6, he lived in the Roeselaarsestraat with his wife Jeanne Paret. He wrote numerous plays and poems, and was an active politician in the catholic party in Izegem. During the war, he kept an extensive journal on the daily life in Izegem. Gits’ eyewitness testimony is an important source of information on wartime Izegem, a municipality in which a great number of soldiers resided. Gits described military events, but the ma…

Vandoorne Jules

Jules Vandoorne was born in Lichtervelde in 1894. He was conscripted into the Belgian army in September 1914, and sent to a training camp in Valognes. After his training, he joined the 2nd Regiment of Grenadiers and was deployed to the front lines in April 1915. He would not remain there long; just a few weeks after his arrival, Jules was captured by the Germans in the municipality of Merkem. He was transferred to a prisoner of war camp in Güstrow, near Hamburg, Germany, where he was forced to…

Le Hétet Ferdinand

Le Hétet Ferdinand
Le Hétet Ferdinand

Ferdinand Le Hétet was a French soldier who was stationed in the Roeselare area at the beginning of World War I. He gained respect and fame for his heroic course of action on Schuwe Maandag, when he offered to protect his fellow soldiers and guarantee their safe return by remaining behind himself. Legend has is that his chief embraced him, crying “Merci mon enfant, au nom de la France!”. All soldiers had tears in their eyes, for they knew for certain that Ferdinand was going to die. They h…

Cowan James Basil

Cowan James Basil
Cowan James Basil

James Basil Cowan was an Australian pilot in the British Royal Flying Corps. It was not uncommon for Australian citizens to join the British forces during World War I, as Australia was a British colony at the time. Before the Allied Hundred Day Offensive, Cowan was transferred to Sainte-Marie-Cappelle and paired with Norman Jones, another lieutenant of the Royal Flying Corps. On October 3rd, 1918, the duo received instructions to bombard the railway station of Izegem. Their mission was interrup…

Matten Julien

Matten Julien
Matten Julien

Born in Boezinge, near Ypres, Julien Matten was 10 years old when he found himself caught in the chaos and panic of the first German chlorine gas attack in the Steenstraat on April 22nd, 1915. Along with his 14-year old sister Emma and their 22-year old neighbour Marie Desaegheer, who was deaf, Julien fled towards Roeselare. It was not long before they fell in the hands of the Germans. The trio ended up in a German trench, where they did not receive a warm welcome. They were sent away by a Germ…

De Winde Juul

De Winde Juul
De Winde Juul

Born in Merchtem on May 13th, 1893, Juul De Winde was conscripted into the Belgian army on August 16th, 1913, where he joined the ranks of the 1st Carabinier Regiment. Juul had a very successful career in the army. By the time the war started, Juul was 21 years old and held the rank of sergeant. During the war, Juul was promoted to lieutenant. He was well liked by his troops, whom he continuously inspired and motivated with quotes derived from the popular catholic student chant "De Blauwvoet”…

Denys Margaretha

Margaretha Denys was born in Roeselare on June 30th, 1871. She was the daughter of the haberdasher on the Grand Place in Roeselare. Margaretha was raised in a traditional Christian family and attended school at Roeselare, Heule and Doornik.  In 1984, Margaretha married Karel Coussement, a local dyer. Margaretha did not have an easy life. Just a few years into the marriage, her husband died, after which she moved to Eernegem, a hamlet of Ichtegem. In 1904 and 1906, she lost 2 of her children. …

Lievens Maurice

The son of fabric merchants, Maurice Lievens was born in Ninove on August 9th, 1886. In September of 1912, he moved to Denderleeuw to start his career as a general practitioner.  On August 1st, 1914, Maurice was conscripted into the Belgian army. For four years, he served as a medic in just about every sector of the Belgian war front between Boezinge and Nieuwpoort. During the Hundred Day Offensive, Maurice was active in the BIE-region. Maurice kept a detailed journal of his experiences as a d…

Dix Otto

Dix Otto
Dix Otto

Otto Dix (1891-1969) was a German painter. Between 1910 and 1933, he painted works that tied in with the dominant artistic movements of the period: realism, dadaism and expressionism. When the war started in August 1914, Otto joined the German army voluntarily. In the four years that followed, Otto developed a deep-rooted aversion to the violence of war, which is reflected in many of his post wartime paintings. During the war, Otto served on the Flemish front twice. During his time there, he pr…

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