Nowadays, the Westhoek forms a cross-border region with France, Wallonia and Flanders. There were no borders during the war; the Flemish Wervik and the French Wervicq-Sud were one and the same municipality. Many German ‘Pioniere’ (pioneers) or combat engineers stayed behind this German front. They were responsible for constructing and maintaining the trenches, bunkers, munition depots and field hospitals etc. Daily life in this occupied region was tough for the inhabitants. The British, Irish, Australians and New Zealanders in particular, were positioned on the western side of this front.
The Pioneer car route is 75 km long and fully signposted. The accompanying brochure can be purchased from the Zonnebeke Tourist Office (€6.00).
The In-Flanders-Fields route and the Rodenbach route are two car routes going through Zonnebeke: