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New Zealand: Polygon Wood

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Located in the north east of Polygon Wood these two small shelters, once hidden by impenetrable undergrowth and bracken, are now accessible via a path and there is an information panel.

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Built by the 4th Field Company New Zealand Engineers the shelters could accommodate up to four men each. They are simple shelters in the typical British style with several feet of concrete poured over an elephant-iron lining.

Both date from December 1917 or the beginning of January 1918 and form part of the defensive system built to reinforce the wood. There was an outpost line, front and support lines comprising bunkers, wire belts and trenches running through the wood. They also utilised the existing German bunkers and shelters.

The Germans had the wood, it was a wood in name only at that time, under observation from their positions at Polderhoek Chateau on the other side of the Reutelbeek and subjected the the New Zealand positions to constant shelling. Many of the New Zealand casualties are listed on the nearby Buttes Memorial.

Linesman Map. Location of the bunkers are marked

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