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The Aviator's Chapel

The Aviator's Chapel

The forgotten Aviator's Chapel

More than a hundred years ago, on May 12, 1917, the biplane of Count Paul de Goussencourt and Lieutenant de Cubber thundered from the sky during a firefight above Kaaskerke, a small town part of Diksmuide. Both died instantly.

The 25-year-old pilot, Goussencourt, was a nobleman from Hainaut, where he had trained as a civil engineer in the mining industry.

In memory of Goussencourt, his parents bought the plot of land where he crashed and built the Aviator's Chapel there in 1923. Through the locked door, you can see the altar and a memorial plaque for the pilot. Unfortunately, the plate was smashed into pieces in the meantime.


After almost a century, the ravages of time had thoroughly done their work. The small structure in the shadow of the Yser Tower was left to decay, even though it had been protected since July 2009.

Parts of the facade were covered by ivy while vandals meticulously smashed the stained glass windows. 

Great cleaning

That was the case until mid-2018. Then, volunteers from World War 1914 rolled up their sleeves and polished the entire chapel from head to toe.

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