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Remembered Today:

Y ravine thread


Skipman

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I am very interested in Y ravine, probably because many of the men am researching, fought there. I was there in the summer and to be honest didn't get to good a view. There are many trees, and you are not allowed near it <_<

I'm interested in any information, and photographs.

google earth is pretty blurred, though half Beaumont Hamel is clear.

For a start. Is the area I have marked, roughly that of the Y ravine?

250ti74.jpg

Cheers Mike

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I am very interested in Y ravine, probably because many of the men am researching, fought there. I was there in the summer and to be honest didn't get to good a view. There are many trees, and you are not allowed near it <_<

I'm interested in any information, and photographs.

google earth is pretty blurred, though half Beaumont Hamel is clear.

For a start. Is the area I have marked, roughly that of the Y ravine?

Cheers Mike

Yes and no; ie you are almost right but the distinctive 'lower' arm of the Y feature is quite clear on the photo, about an inch to the right of your lower Y.

I am away from my books at the moment, but Jack Sheldon covers the German side of the story very well in his the Germans at BH in the Battleground series (declaring an interest, I edited this) and you will find plenty of useful info there and if memory serves me correctly (I am away from my books), photos and mapping

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Thanks Nigel. I will put Jack's book on my list.

Does anyone know of a photograph before the war?.....and, what caused the feature. Is it/was it, a water course?

Cheers Mike.

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Mike - there is also "Beaumont Hamel" Part of the Pen and Sword Battleground Europe [somme]series (ISBN 0-85052-398-2) by one (obviously self-deprecating) "Nigel Cave" :thumbsup: which has really good coverage and is throughly recommended!

There is a good bit in the Official history (with a map - reproduced in Mr Cave's book), also in the history of the 51st Div.

There is a slightly different map and a partial aerial photograph (and a reasonable account of the fighting) in G.Y. Cheyne's "The last great battle of the Somme" (1988 isbn 0-85976 216 5)

Chris

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  • 11 months later...

Hi we were there in September and it is hard to get real close as they have fenced it off but I think you have it right.

Cheers

Rick

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I have one that is Captioned 'Y ravine' Taken April 1919 and the second is probably Y Ravine April 1919. Not very clear though.

TEW

007.jpg

006-1.jpg

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Great photos Willy. Very evocative.

Roger

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Excellent photos Willy!!!

Cheers

Rick

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I was told some twenty odd years or more ago when visiting the “Somme”, when then, there was no restrictions to any area of the “Caribou” park (or any other WW1 sites in the area), when then you could walk and let the children run freely through the trenches from the Caribou memorial to Y ravine (no guides, no limited access), that there were bunkers underground in Y ravine, but due to unexploded munitions access was restricted, but accessible through the steel doors on the right bank overlooking Y ravine, (now overgrown) before the exit gate to Beaumont Hemel? But was shut to the public to preserve the underground works or for political reasons, (I’m sure they were thin green painted steel doors) I might be mistaken? Was this so???

Hwyl

Kevin

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One for you!

056.jpg

Much appreciated!!

Cheers

Rick

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Kevin,

Yes it's true.

I first went to Newfoundland Park over 20 years ago and there was no restriction over where one could walk.

I found that being able to follow the line of advance made the ground and situation much easier to understand. That has been made more difficult now by the imposition of the wired off paths and the like. I had a break of a few years when I didn't visit the Somme at all after a period of very frequent, almost monthly visits from Germany and the change was shocking.

In the years before I first went there, all manner of relics could be found scattered across the park from helmets to weapons, and the ubiquitous ordnance. Visitors often took the battlfields debris away with them as a souvenir. I understand that the wreckage of an aeroplane lay disintegrating in the park for many years.

The last time I went was March 2010 and I was so disappointed with it that I never ventured far from the Caribou, especially as it was snowing slightly and very, very cold.

Cheers,

Nigel

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Kevin,

Yes it's true.

I first went to Newfoundland Park over 20 years ago and there was no restriction over where one could walk.

I found that being able to follow the line of advance made the ground and situation much easier to understand. That has been made more difficult now by the imposition of the wired off paths and the like. I had a break of a few years when I didn't visit the Somme at all after a period of very frequent, almost monthly visits from Germany and the change was shocking.

In the years before I first went there, all manner of relics could be found scattered across the park from helmets to weapons, and the ubiquitous ordnance. Visitors often took the battlfields debris away with them as a souvenir. I understand that the wreckage of an aeroplane lay disintegrating in the park for many years.

The last time I went was March 2010 and I was so disappointed with it that I never ventured far from the Caribou, especially as it was snowing slightly and very, very cold.

Cheers,

Nigel

I too remember the site from many years ago, and whilst it was easier to follow the advance, I think the Newfoundland authorities acted with great foresight, the site today has provided thousands of more casual visitors to the somme with an insight of what happened there and had it not been "preserved" as it is today would probably have been ruined. The students from Newfoundland provide a interesting general tour, and they also gain from it.

What would have been left had the area not been restricted?. I believe that the manicured grass, thanks to the resident sheep, actually shows that people care, and have not left the site to be plundered and become overgrown.

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In an age when people phone their lawyer before the ambulance, restriction is inevitable. I have only been once to Newfoundland Park and was caught in a downpour at Y ravine. I thought it was marvelous that the park should be maintained as well as it was and that a steady stream of willing volunteers should be available to man it. I also think the same with regard to Vimy. Certainly it must have been very different when one could wander at will and hope to pick up and take away one's own souvenir. That is obviously not something that could last even without the vast increase in litigation which besets any present day public enterprise.

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Here's a photo from within Y ravine I took in 2001 during my first trip to Newfoundland Park. There were no restrictions to entering at that time. I did think that, although the place was atmospheric, there wasn't much to see.

It was very overgrown and, much to my disappointment, there were no piles of spent cartridges or discarded M18 helmets lying around...:angry:

post-42233-045491900 1290637529.jpg

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Here's a photo from within Y ravine I took in 2001 during my first trip to Newfoundland Park. There were no restrictions to entering at that time. I did think that, although the place was atmospheric, there wasn't much to see.

It was very overgrown and, much to my disappointment, there were no piles of spent cartridges or discarded M18 helmets lying around...:angry:

post-42233-045491900 1290637529.jpg

it had been cleared of surface debris long before, but it is a shame there is not even controlled access these days.
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Although a little off topic It was similar then on the Normandy beaches, places like Point du Hoc, Ranville-Pegasus bridge, and all the landing beaches that were easily accessible, and I do agree that these places of historical importance would have suffered If such actions as taken in recent years had not been taken, and as long as they are not used for profit or gain and kept as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifices given for our freedom today, I totally agree with It.

Years ago you were lucky to meet up with one or two who shared a similar pilgrimage to northern France, the Somme and Belgium. Today, as can be seen nightly at the Menin Gate, more and more are drawn and show an interest in the history that was so costly. It would have been a great shame had these historical sites been lost due to the lack of foresight as shown today,and now available to all.

“Lest we forget” Er Cof.

Kevin

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was told some twenty odd years or more ago when visiting the “Somme”, when then, there was no restrictions to any area of the “Caribou” park (or any other WW1 sites in the area), when then you could walk and let the children run freely through the trenches from the Caribou memorial to Y ravine (no guides, no limited access), that there were bunkers underground in Y ravine, but due to unexploded munitions access was restricted, but accessible through the steel doors on the right bank overlooking Y ravine, (now overgrown) before the exit gate to Beaumont Hemel? But was shut to the public to preserve the underground works or for political reasons, (I’m sure they were thin green painted steel doors) I might be mistaken? Was this so???

Hwyl

Kevin

The green painted doors actually are protecting a (narrow!) (and also fairly deep) shaft into a small German tunnel system, which was dug to try and locate the British First Avenue tunnels (and also, presumably, any other British tunnelling activity in the vicinity). It is narrow and dangerous and the tunnels do not go all that far forward from this point and there is absolutely nothing of interest down there if anyone was tempted to have a go at getting the padlock off. The doors were put on to preserve the entrance as a point of historical interest but with no intention of further development or investigation - as this has been done!

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