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clive_hughes

Trench Map, Bouzincourt Ridge 1918

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clive_hughes

Hi,

I'm looking for an image of the British and German trench systems on Bouzincourt Ridge just west of Albert, during the period around April-July 1918.

I don't think they can have existed before late March, when the German advance stopped there. The 38th Welsh Division mounted a costly attack in April which gained part of the line offering observation into the Ancre valley, but the remainder wasn't retaken until July.

The map accompanying the account of this operation in the RWF Regimental History is tiny and can scarcely be oriented or related to the ground today. I have a feeling it isn't on the N&MP CD set of maps, but does anyone have an image of the system layout?

LST_164

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CROONAERT

Any good? June 1918...

post-357-1268220953.jpg

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clive_hughes

Croonaert,

thank you very much for posting that image. I found it fascinating, having been up on the Ridge last year; but at that time I lacked a map to make sense of the accounts I'd read.

The way in which a couple of portions of the enemy system were "acquired" over a few days shows up clearly in the extremely close juxtaposition of the opposing lines.

This will be useful for my further studies, and I'm obliged to you for your kindness in letting me see this map.

LST_164

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mickstape

Hello

Further to your trench map query , Peter Bartons book "The battlefields of the fisrt world war, the unseen panoramas of the western front", illustrates Bouzincourt Ridge on page 302/303. Although taken in july 1915 it is an excellent panorama .

My great uncle is buried in the cemetery on the ridge

MIck

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clive_hughes

Mick,

Thank you very much for drawing my attention to that reference. I think I know where I can borrow a copy!

LST_164

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BerlinBetty

My Great-Uncle Rowland is also buried there. He died in August 1918, early one morning, picked off by a sniper. It was a very moving experience to visit the cemetery, and to see how beautifully it was kept, up there on that ridge, in the middle of nowhere, with birdsong in the air.

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clive_hughes

BerlinBetty,

You're quite right, it's an atmospheric location.  There hasn't been any building on the Ridge, and it's quite easy to visualise the course of the action in April 1918 when it was partly recaptured. 

 

Your great-uncle was most unfortunate, since by about 22 August the Germans had evacuated the part of the ridge they still held and gone through Albert to set up new positions on the further bank of the River Ancre. 

 

Clive

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BerlinBetty

Dear Clive, Thank you for this. O gosh, that makes his death at 21 years of age much worse, since he was killed on August 23rd. A senseless loss, picked off probably by a bored sniper or an evacuating soldier out for revenge, having lost a friend, perhaps. Your information adds to the plangent sense of waste. However, I am sure that all deaths on allied and enemy sides must seem so, if enlightened by a little human detail. Thank you for this extra information.  BB

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