Wooden painted signboard from 'Hellfire Corner' at Ypres, 1918
This sign was used to mark 'Hellfire Corner', a busy junction on the Menin Road, which ran from Ypres in Belgium to the frontline trenches. It was a very dangerous place, being within easy range of the German guns. As a result of constant heavy shelling it was given this nickname by British troops. This sign is believed to be the last used at this position and shows signs of shell and small-arms damage.
Lieutenant W. S. Storie of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) brought this sign back to Britain after the First World War (1914-1918). He displayed it in a shop window on Prince's Street, Edinburgh. The evocative name 'Hellfire Corner' was instantly recognizable to the generation who lived through the War. Many of those who had survived would have passed the sign, or one of its predecessors, en route to and from the front line.
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