During the Great War the courtyard op the Poperinge Town Hall was used as an execution spot. Several British soldiers faced the firing squad in this place. Today it is an emblematical site where reflection and remembrance are cherished. In the death cells you are confronted with a cinematic impression of a soldier waiting to be shot at dawn. You may also decipher the graffiti left by the prisoners.
The town hall had become a military guardroom very early in the war. In the basement were four cells (two of wich survive to this day) where men awaiting trial, and those convicted, could be detained securely. In 1916 these prison cells also became death cells, were convicts spent their final agonising night. The executions were carried out against the rear wall of a half-open coal shet at the back of the yard. The wall was covered with sandbags to prevent ricoshets. A post, to wich condemned men would be tied as they awaited the hail of bullets, has survived. In fact, it was probably used on only one occasion, said to be the execution of a Chines labourer.