‘Camp‘ was a word found on an old French map, in possession of the Germans when they captured this ground in November 1914. They applied this to the small cluster of farm buildings at the end of Molenbosstraat, later referring to it as ‘Kampe Häuser‘. For two years, British regimental war diaries contained complaints about a single heavy artillery piece firing at high velocity and low trajectory over the heads of the front line soldiers. Indeed, in the heavy trench raid of 20th February 1917, the ‘Campe Gun’ was listed as one of the primary objectives. It was just to their left when the raid was at its height and was not located.
Above a 1914 photograph from the records of Feldartillerie Regiment 51, of the original farm buildings with the gun emplacement to the left. Very close to the front line, these buildings were reduced to rubble in a matter of months.
A year or so later, the buildings are but a memory, but the gun emplacement remains, made of concrete and now occupied by FAR49.
Five of the six batteries of the artillery regiment were mobile, and operated their four gun batteries from more distant places near Hollebeke and Kortewilde. Those of the remaining battery had single guns in four concrete emplacements much closer to the front. In addition to Campe, these were on the Triangular Bluff (Damm-Geschütz), Kanal Koffer (Koffer-Geschütz) and in de Vierlingen (Fasanerie-Geschütz).
While unusually close to the front, the ‘Campe gun’ was of little importance as the French soldiers had held on to the edge of the ridge plateau in 1914, and the land sloped away in front of the gun, leaving poor observational possibilities through the shattered woodland of the Molenbos.