Pool of Peace, Spanbroekmolen, Belgium
Almost unknown is the fact that while British and German troops faced each other over “no man’s land” there were soldiers of both armies who dug tunnels to establish “mines” – caverns full of explosives – under the enemy’s trenches. There were many underground skirmishes as troops from both sides found and broke into tunnels which were a threat.
As part of an attack to straighten the “front” and force the Germans from the high ground of Messines Ridge, 19 huge mines were exploded preceding the assault on June 7, 1917. The resulting crater at Spanbroekmolen is 129 metres across and 27 metres deep and has since filled with water.
In 1930, the founder of Talbot House, prevailed upon Lord Wakefield to purchase the crater as a memorial for Talbot House. It was named the “Pool of Peace”.