Ploegsteert is a village in Belgium located in the municipality of Comines-Warneton in the Hainaut province and is the most westerly settlement of the Walloon region. It is approximately 2 kilometres north of the French border. Created in 1850 on part of the territory of Warneton, it includes the hamlet of Le Bizet. It is largely francophone, with facilities for Dutch speakers.
The nearby Ploegsteert Wood was the site of fierce WWI fighting. Today there are numerous cemeteries and memorials, including the Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery and the Berks Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery Extension with the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing, which commemorates more than 11,000 British and Empire servicemen who died in the area during the First World War and have no known grave. From January to May 1916, Winston Churchill served in the area as Commanding Officer (Lieutenant-Colonel) of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
As part of Comines-Warneton, Ploegsteert was declared a sister city of Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, England, in 2006; this was partly initiated through the finding of letters from a 16-year-old soldier from Wolverton named Albert French. He is buried in Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cemetery, just outside the village.
The village is home to a carpentry museum.
Albert French's grave at Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cemetery
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