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This ashtray was likely hewn by a soldier away serving on active service in Europe during WW1

It has Belgium, Passchendaele, & Ypres significance

The unknown maker almost certainly will have been present at or participated in the famous actions inscribed finely around the edge

ZONNEBEKE The 3rd Battle of Ypres (31 July - 10 Nov 1917) smashed the landscape to pieces. Having gradually taken German territory & finally reached the higher ground on the Passchendaele ridge in November 1917 the British Army established a new line. There was, however, very little surviving natural shelter to protect them from enemy artillery or air observation in the form of woods, farms & buildings. Specialist Tunnelling Companies, which had been working in the south of the Salient preparing for the Battle of Messines from 7 June 1917, were moved into the northern sector of the Ypres Salient to construct underground shelters & dugouts

SHRAPNEL CORNER in the Ypres Salient, became a focus for German shrapnel & shellfire given the volume of Allied supply traffic which passed through the area. Inevitably much of the supply traffic was undertaken at night when it was deemed marginally safer: German shelling correspondingly increased & long-range shelling was introduced in 1918


SANCTUARY WOOD is said to have earned its name in Oct 1914 when it was used as a 'sanctuary' to stragglers waiting to rejoin their units. At this time Sanctuary Wood was a relatively quiet area, this was to be short-lived & its name deemed most inappropriate from Nov 1914 onwards

HELLFIRE CORNER was a junction in the Ypres Salient inWW1. The main supplies for the British Army in this sector passed along the road from Ypres to Menin - the famous Menin Road. A section of the road was where the Sint-Jan-Zillebeke road & the Ypres-Roulers railway line crossed the road. The German Army positions overlooked this spot & their guns were registered upon it so that movement through this junction was perilous, making it the most dangerous place in the sector
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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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