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Remembered Today:

Sunken Road - Guillemont


SMG65
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In the book 'Stand To' by Captain F C Hitchcock there is a sketch of the Sunken Road before Guillemont, August 1916.

Can anybody say which road this is?

Regards

Sean

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Hi Sean

I have seen the road between Guillemont and Ginchy referred to as a sunken road, although on maps from the time it does not seem very sunken (I think about 3 feet at most!). But there may be another road too.

Swizz

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I believe it is the minor track opposite the Guillemont Road Cemetery ( towards the village and not quite opposite...more opposite the little shrine) that leads in the general direction of Wedge Wood. Sorry not topographically 100% but gets you there. Ernst Junger mentios it too.

Regards

TT

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It is the lane/track that runs from Guillemont Road towards Maltz Horn. From the Guillemont Road Cemetery go towards the village and take the first right (after the roadside calvary). The Junger story comes alive in that sunken lane. The detail of his description and its geographical accurracy are stunning and match Hitchcock's description.

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...
It is the lane/track that runs from Guillemont Road towards Maltz Horn. From the Guillemont Road Cemetery go towards the village and take the first right (after the roadside calvary). The Junger story comes alive in that sunken lane. The detail of his description and its geographical accurracy are stunning and match Hitchcock's description.

Mike

Thanks a lot, I have walked the area in 2008 and this year spent a whole day walking Guilemont/Ginchy/Combles (in pouring rain).

Will have to do it again next year.

I blame Clive Harris (who as a GBG I assume you know, he's trying to get me to go for it) for getting me into this area of the battlefield.

Until he brainwashed me I was a Ypres man.

Sean

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Just got back from a very moving and enjoyable trip to the Somme. First trip for my Father In Law and I took him to this very spot and spent a few hours walking and explaining. He was rewarded with a 1914 pattern "snake" buckle he picked up from a clod of earth by the sunken lane and this was really moving for him because he was also visiting his uncles grave for the first time and now has a tangible reminder of his trip which he will treasure!

Regards

TT

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Sean,

Clive has a lot to answer for :rolleyes: but I'm sure that if you'll find many in the GBG who would welcome you, particularly those of us who like to move away from the traditional tourist routes.

Mike

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Sean (and others),

Just to muddy the waters, The Official History Map No. 5 accompanying the 1916 Volume 1 (Attack of XIII Corps and French Sixth Army 1 July 1916) marks the track running SE from the Bricqueterie (immediately south of Bernafay Wood) towards Hardecourt as 'Sunken Road'. I suppose this could be counted as being in the Guillemont area. I have not checked the text to get the context of this.

However, within the context of Guillemont I had always understood the 'Sunken Road' to be the track leading south from Guillemont Road towards Maltzhorn Farm (as stated above by Trench Trotter and Mike McCarthy). The Liverpool Scottish history (1/10 KLR 9 August 1916) mentions German machine guns in 'a sunken road' forward of the German lines and this only make sense if it is the track starting near the Guillemont Road cemetery and going to Maltzhorn Farm. The sketch maps in the Official History 1916 Volume 2 (facing p. 175 and p. 190) give no name to this track and so far I can't find reference in the text to it as a 'sunken road'.

Ian

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Thanks for the replies.

My next talk for WFA Branches will be on Guillemont and I will start preparing it next month for being ready in February.

It's such a difficult area to fit into a one hour talk but so are all my other talks so my one hour is now going to be 70 minutes.

If anybody has any pictures/stories of the Guillemont area from the Great War that are not the usual ones found in books then I would be grateful.

The talks I do are free so I make no financial gain.

Sean

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