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Remembered Today:

Map referred to in Canadian Second Brigade War Diary


sneakyimp
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Impossible to post the whole thing for you on here, but here's a chunk of it that shows the points referred to...

post-357-0-53528500-1377821057_thumb.jpg

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...and another version from 1915......

post-357-0-42382200-1377821314_thumb.jpg

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Holy cow! CROONAERT, what is that first map? Where does one find such maps and would that be the exact one referred to in the account above (dated May 1, 1915) or would it be from some other time period? It looks like the approximate location. Is there a name for this type of map? Are they online or located in some particular library?

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First map is Sheet 28 (as referred to in the diary and per your request), but is edition 2 and dates from early 1916. Edition 1 was practically identical as regards grid, but the drawing would more resemble that shown in the 2nd 'Sheet 28' map I posted (which is a French version from early (March, I think) 1915).

They are just 1:40,000 scale general topographical maps - no particular name for them and can be located in many places (even purchased....they're not exactly highly prized collectors items (look at paying anywhere between £5 and £35 for one) unless you get the later dated 1:40,000 scale 'Trench Maps' which appeared from late 1917... though even these tend to get ignored in favour of the 1:20,000 and 1:10,000 scale versions (the last 1:40,000 scale 'Trench' map I bought cost me the princely sum of £12 only about 6 weeks ago.... and that's the most I've ever had to pay for a trenchmap at this scale!)) Try Ebay for these, but be wary of the common error of describing them as 'Trench Maps' - 99% of them at this scale aren't!)

Not sure of them being on any online source (try the McMaster University website perhaps?)... being just general area maps, they're not really of all that much interest to the majority and are only useful for finding out rough, quick map reference locations.

Dave

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Not sure of them being on any online source (try the McMaster University website perhaps?)... being just general area maps, they're not really of all that much interest to the majority and are only useful for finding out rough, quick map reference locations.

Dave

Apologies sneakyimp jumping into your post.

Dave do you know where I might find maps of southern Germany close to the Swiss border? I've tried McMaster, no luck. I'm after smaller scale maps. The ones I got from Kew are 200,000 And 250,000 so no good really. I Have posted but so far no responses.

Thanks

Marjorie

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Not really an area that I've looked into, Marjorie, to be honest (general mapping isn't really my 'thing'), but I can tell you that the best you can hope for is probably going to be 1:100,000 scale in military maps. The British mapping didn't go down as far as this (and nowhere near in 1:40,000 scale as far as I can see) so your best sources would probably be found in the French archives (they certainly mapped the areas in preparation for the proposed (but shelved) 'Plan H' offensive of December 1915 (re-surveyed March 1916) and the area to the north of where you want (area of the Largue/Swiss border) was mapped up to 1:5,000 scale - these are the most southerly maps I have in my collection anyway!) so you might have some luck in bigger scales from this period.

Failing that... civilian maps of approx. 1:80,000 or 1:100,000 probably exist somewhere, but I suppose it's just luck of the draw as to finding them.

Dave

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OK I see in the original War Diary this text:

Reference Map - Sheet 28

I begin to understand that there was some kind of standardized map system for the Western Front in use by at least part of the BEF. Did this system have a name? Would this map system be shared with the French and Belgians? Or would they have their own map schemes? At what point would this have been standardized. I find this fascinating. It's amazing what ingenuity and efficiency war brings out in us human animals.

I further understand that McMaster university has an index of these map sheets here and that sheet 28 here refers to several maps of this sheet from 1915 but does not actually contains the maps themselves ("image not available"), just their descriptions (rats!). The ones that do have maps link to a file with a .sid suffix. While I'm grateful for this map resource, I find myself somewhat appalled by the poor data organization. I would love to have all the crazy little colloquial place names (e.g., BOMBARDED CROSSROADS) in a google maps file.

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Not really an area that I've looked into, Marjorie, to be honest (general mapping isn't really my 'thing'), but I can tell you that the best you can hope for is probably going to be 1:100,000 scale in military maps. The British mapping didn't go down as far as this (and nowhere near in 1:40,000 scale as far as I can see) so your best sources would probably be found in the French archives (they certainly mapped the areas in preparation for the proposed (but shelved) 'Plan H' offensive of December 1915 (re-surveyed March 1916) and the area to the north of where you want (area of the Largue/Swiss border) was mapped up to 1:5,000 scale - these are the most southerly maps I have in my collection anyway!) so you might have some luck in bigger scales from this period.

Failing that... civilian maps of approx. 1:80,000 or 1:100,000 probably exist somewhere, but I suppose it's just luck of the draw as to finding them.

Dave

Thanks Dave,

CWGC gave me the sheet number (56), map reference and even the original grave plot. Also that the map was available from the Imperial War Museum, who are closed at the moment for refurbishment. They also said their maps are unavailable to the public due to being digitised so I am exploring other avenues in the meantime. Of course the French might have them so I might try to follow that up.

Thanks again

Marjorie

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OK I see in the original War Diary this text:

Reference Map - Sheet 28

I begin to understand that there was some kind of standardized map system for the Western Front in use by at least part of the BEF. Did this system have a name? Would this map system be shared with the French and Belgians? Or would they have their own map schemes? At what point would this have been standardized. I find this fascinating. It's amazing what ingenuity and efficiency war brings out in us human animals.

I further understand that McMaster university has an index of these map sheets here and that sheet 28 here refers to several maps of this sheet from 1915 but does not actually contains the maps themselves ("image not available"), just their descriptions (rats!). The ones that do have maps link to a file with a .sid suffix. While I'm grateful for this map resource, I find myself somewhat appalled by the poor data organization. I would love to have all the crazy little colloquial place names (e.g., BOMBARDED CROSSROADS) in a google maps file.

Check the book shop at the national archives. I have recently ordered 1/10000 trench maps of that general area - excellent value at £3.25.

Regards,

Ian.

Edited by ianhwatson
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Check the book shop at the national archives. I have recently ordered 1/10000 trench maps of that general area - excellent value at £3.25.

Regards,

Ian.

I'm assuming you mean the national archives in Britain? Sadly, I'm in Los Angeles so that might get fairly expensive when you tack on the plane ticket and lodging costs. Could you recommend a link where I might purchase such a thing?

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I'm assuming you mean the national archives in Britain? Sadly, I'm in Los Angeles so that might get fairly expensive when you tack on the plane ticket and lodging costs. Could you recommend a link where I might purchase such a thing?

Yes I did mean an on line visit!

Try here:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/bookshop/searchresult.aspx?k=trench%20maps

Regards,

Ian.

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CWGC gave me the sheet number (56), map reference and even the original grave plot.

Marjorie.

Could you give me the complete reference please as something is slightly awry here. Sheet 56 exists in both 1:80,000 scale and in 1:40,000 scale (two totally different areas), but neither of them are exactly what I'd describe as 'Southern Germany' nor on the 'Swiss Border'. (There were 3 series of the 1:80,000/1:100,000 scale maps - 'France' (in 1:80,000), 'France & Belgium' (in 1:100,000) and 'Germany' (in 1:100,000 and given a letter + number reference)).... Map references for the two scales are given in totally different formats (usually).

For example, the 1:40,000 scale Sheet 56 is centred on St.Vith (now Belgium, but Germany until 1918) and covers the area depicted below......

post-357-0-77126000-1377955493_thumb.jpg

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OK I see in the original War Diary this text:

Reference Map - Sheet 28

I begin to understand that there was some kind of standardized map system for the Western Front in use by at least part of the BEF. .... Would this map system be shared with the French and Belgians? Or would they have their own map schemes? ...

...I further understand that McMaster university has an index of these map sheets here and that sheet 28 here refers to several maps of this sheet from 1915 ...

The whole of the BEF went to war with a standardised map system of pre-war 1:80,000 (France) and 1:100,000 (Belgium) scale maps. Sometimes using pre-existing French and Belgian bases and sometimes re-surveying, these were enlarged to 1:40,000 scale and 1:20,000 scale as 1914 drew on and warfare became more static and a standard reference grid added by 1915. Also in 1915, 'blow-ups' of the 1:20,000 scale maps began to appear in 1:10,000 scale and printed 'trench' maps in 1:10,000 scale in the summer of 1915 (after a small scale trial between March and May 1915). followed by the same in 1:20,000 a little later.

The French had a totally different system which was shared by the Belgians and, by 1918, the Americans. (The Belgians only began producing their own trench maps in January 1916 - prior to that, they used French ones - and, even after then , they are pretty much indistinct from the French ones). Though not interchangeable, British units are known to have used French trenchmaps in certain sectors and periods and vice-versa on occasion.

McMaster don't appear to list the exact map referred to in your extract, however there is a 'B'Series 1:20,000 scale map on there (undated in the index, but it's from early 1915 using a 1914 base) that they've entitled 'Ypres' 28NW that may have much of the area you need.

You won't find Sheet 28 reproduced by G.H.Smith (such as those on sale at The National Archives) as they tend to concentrate on reduced size reproductions of trench maps of 1:10,000 and 1:20,000 scale rather than 1:40,000 scale (which would be impossible to read at the reduced size). They are all of dates later than your requirement also (no British trenchmaps for your area were produced until later in 1915). If later dated 1:10,000 and 1:20,000 maps are acceptable, however, then you already have a couple of decent examples on your other thread. Many people on this forum will also have many variously dated examples of these on CD/DVD and I'm sure will be able to help you out with images.

Dave

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Marjorie.

Could you give me the complete reference please as something is slightly awry here. Sheet 56 exists in both 1:80,000 scale and in 1:40,000 scale (two totally different areas), but neither of them are exactly what I'd describe as 'Southern Germany' nor on the 'Swiss Border'. (There were 3 series of the 1:80,000/1:100,000 scale maps - 'France' (in 1:80,000), 'France & Belgium' (in 1:100,000) and 'Germany' (in 1:100,000 and given a letter + number reference)).... Map references for the two scales are given in totally different formats (usually).

For example, the 1:40,000 scale Sheet 56 is centred on St.Vith (now Belgium, but Germany until 1918) and covers the area depicted below......

The reference given by CWGC for the burial is: Waldshut Cemetery Map Ref: 56 B.4 Plot 4 Grave 278.

Cheers

Marjorie

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