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Scenography

The scenography revolves around main themes of the Great War :

  • Globalization of the conflict
  • Strategy and military administration
  • Human casualties and tragedies
  • Remembrance …

The scenographic originality lies in its educational purpose, relevant description of events and interactivity integrating a wonderfully structured temporarity.

A cutting-edge technology with touchscreens, various animations etc. is combined with a remarkable content.

The latter stems from the Scientific Committee’s admirable research work and the local Historical Society’s and other institutions’ valuable resources. All four themes can be consulted in four languages (French, Dutch, English and German) and are distributed on a 400 sq. m. space divided into five different stations.
 

Summary

  1. Global conflict
  2. Plugstreet sector
  3. ANZAC troops’ intervention
  4. Soldiers’ and civilians’ day-to-day life
  5. Virtual visit of WW1 sites

 

Station 1 : Global conflict

CI salle de projectionOur screening room provides an ideal starting point for the visit. A film relates the conflict causes as well as the sequence of alliances leading to its globalization.

It also answers a critical issue : “Why did Comines-Warneton suffer the horrors and upheaval of four long war years ?”

 

Station 2 : Plugstreet sector

STATION 2 recadréeeKey component of this scenography part is a relief map focussing on a more restricted area :  the southernmost part of Ypres Salient.

Animations depict the advance and retreat of troops and the course of fighting around

Armentières, Bailleul, Comines-Warneton, Menin and Ypres sectors, in particular :

  • the first confrontations in October 1914
  • the formation of the front and the development of a war of movement into a war of attrition
  • the battles of Messines and Passchendaele
  • the German offensive in April 1918
  • the German withdrawal and the freeing of our territory at the end of September 1918
     
Station 3 : ANZAC troops’ intervention

STATION 3Station 3, placed centre-stage in our scenographic space and financed by the Department of Australian Veterans, is entirely dedicated to ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers’ intervention.

Large touchscreens – like giant tablets – enable the visitor to follow the developments of these

fights, preamble to the Third Battle of Ypres.

 

Station 4 : Soldiers’ and civilians’ day-to-day life

STATION 4 recadréeSix themes are handled here, broaching topics such as :

  • propaganda and manipulation of information
  • the rigidness of German administration and its share of deprivations and requisitioning
  • survival at the front and everyday life of civilians faced with cohabitation
  • humour as a cure and support for the troops
  • fraternizing at Christmas 1914
  • remembrance

Particular attention is paid to the duty of remembrance : erection of memorials and graves, commemorative ceremonies etc. Young generations in particular are involved in these tribute and gratitude gestures.

 

Station 5 : Virtual visit of WW1 sites

station 5 recadréeThe last element of the inner scenography offers a virtual visit of the neighbouring 14-18 sites which remarkably fit into the landscape or deeply lodge themselves in the woods.

Besides being easily accessible, these sites – British Memorial and cemeteries, Christmas Truce monument, mine craters … – constitute a priceless memorial heritage of the Great War.

The best way to discover them is obviously a guided tour that will lead you to the “Paths of Remembrance”.