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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Trench names.


1st_east_yorks
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Hello Pals,

I was recently viewing some material relating to the Ulster division and looked at a trench map dating from 1916. the trenches are named Cavan, Enniskillen, Lurgan, Armagh, etc.

This prompted the question, did all trenches have names and if so were they given names that had a locality of the batallion that dug them? (As in this instance.)

I am sure some forum pal will have researched this in great detail!

Sean.

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I have not researched this at all but it is my understanding that, in general, early in the war trenches were often named after places local to the battalions which happened to be occupying them at the time. So a London regiment may have named 'Birdcage Walk'. Later on, groups of trenches were named locally according to particular letters of the alphabet so that 'Jehovah trench', 'Jeer trench' and 'Jehu trench' would all be in the same area.

Ian

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My Grandad felt at home in his trenches at Gommecourt - Regent Street trench reminded him of the street in his home town in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, and was in fact where my Dad was born a few years later! :D

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Hi Sean

If you can get hold this book it has lots of info about trench naming: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rats-Alley-British...8/dp/186227276X

It includes some of the trenches in the Thiepval Wood / Hamel area which were named by the Ulster Division.

I think the examples you quote are points within the German lines given Ulster-specific names for the 1 July attack, rather than trench names as such. The Germans also named their trenches - in fact I only recently discovered that Schwabia (ie the Schwaben redoubt) is a place in southern Germany!

Swizz

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There does not seem to have been any general rule for naming trenches. I believe that some were given names with an initial which matched the map square. All trenches had names given them by the occupants. Trenches which would figure in an assault were also given names by the intending attackers. These did not normally coincide. It is a fair bet that the Germans did not call the communication trenches at Hohenzollern Redoubt, Big Willy or Little Willy. :rolleyes:

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