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BEF General HQ


centurion
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The BEF General HQ was located at ST Omer from October 1914 to March 1916. Can anyone tell me exactly where (and a map ref would be very appreciated) Thanks.

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If it is any help the IWM web site has some sketches of about the correct date which show the 'Quarter Guard' and a room in the Infantry barracks used by the guard. I supppose it is likely that GHQ would have been set up in French military accomodation and , while by no means conclusive, QHQ would have had a Quarter Guard. If only the location of the infantry barracks was known!

Old Tom

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Afraid I'm not a lot wiser. I'm planning my trip to France in September and the logistics of putting my animals in the combined cattery and doggery and then getting to the tunnel means that I need to stop a night shortly after getting across so I plumped for St Omer. I know that the RFC HQ used to be in a small chateau somewhere close to the Souvenir Cemetery (is the chateau still there?) so I thought I'd seek out it and the BEF GHQ in the morning before continuing on to the Somme area but I don't want to spend time vainly searching for things that might not be there anymore.

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RFC HQ is this building, I think, now the town hall of Longuenesse. Unfortunately it was closed for a two hour lunch (it being Friday midi) when we passed through.

6815420667_ddcd93247e_z.jpg

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The RFC/RAF Hq is the same building as HQ BEF.

37 Rue St Bertin has been mentioned upthread, "home" to French/Haig.

"Bobs" died at 50 Avenue Carnot. Used to be a plaque there.

The English College which educated English Catholic boys(many to become traitors or martyrs depending on your pov) from Elizabeth's time to a few years before the Catholic Emancipation Act was on the site of the Hopital Militaire in Rue St Bertin.

The Army Catering Corps Training Centre in Aldershot used to be called "St Omer Barracks", whence came that delight "Pommes St Omer."

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All the contemporary accounts I've seen of the RFC HQ tell of how it was too small for the RFC - difficult to see how the BEF General HQ could fit in there as well

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20 Rue St Bertin was used to house George V when he visited the BEF GHQ.

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All the contemporary accounts I've seen of the RFC HQ tell of how it was too small for the RFC - difficult to see how the BEF General HQ could fit in there as well

An early manifestation of the Crab prima donna mentality, no doubt. (With some very honourable exceptions.)

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An early manifestation of the Crab prima donna mentality, no doubt. (With some very honourable exceptions.)

Unfortunately I don't understand the point you are making.

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Hi Centurion about page 54 in the below linked book i think is a discription of the move to the small chateau by RFC .It also mentions staff of HQ being scattered in many buildings dotted about the ST Omer localitie.You may find it of some use.john

http://www.archive.o...4191800bariuoft

Thanks - I already have it in the flesh so to speak. It was one of the "contemporary sources" I was referring to. If French and Haig lodged in the Rue St Betin and that's the street where they put George V it would suggest that it was at the epicentre of BEF GHQ. I shall certainly take a look at it - I think no 20 is open to the public.

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My suggestion was based on Baring's description (between the aerodrome & St Omer) and it being near the Souvenir cemetery (and red and white) but I appreciate the area was not short of chateaux.

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The library on rue Gambetta was helpful when we asked about 10 Stationary Hospital but we didn't have time to pursue questions of the buildings on Saint-Bertin. Be interested in what you find, or what others know.

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