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I am a GWF newbee!

My brother and I are taking our first trip to the Somme and Ypres Salient in September to follow in the footsteps of our grandfather Willie.

Willie served with the 15th Hampshires and was involved in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette in September 1916 and at St Eloi in June 1917 at the Battle of Messines.

We're planning our own itinerary and would like advice on trench maps of the peioids and areas concerned.

How can we obtain the correct maps so that we can identify features on the ground.

Any advice welcome please.

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Welcome to the forum.

If you have already done your research into the places you want to go, it would be worth posting the details here and I'm sure someone will post a section of the appropriate trench map on here for you. I'm not sure exactly where the 15th Hampshires were in September 1916 so if you could say, as accurately as you can, that will help.

If you haven't got that detail, then I'm sure someone will have it to hand or point you in the right direction.

Ken

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Hi Ken and thanks for the welcome!

In brief, my grandfather enlisted on 9 October 1915 in Portsmouth with the 15th (Service) Battalion (2nd Portsmouth), the Hampshire Regiment, and went to France on 1 May 1916.

They didn't participate in the Battle of the Somme at the beginning, but were involved in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916. Their attack was launched from the area of Delville Wood, and their objective was “Flers Trench”, just south of the village of Flers, where the supporting battalions advanced through and ahead of them to attack Flers itself.

He survived this action but was wounded and repatriated in November 1916.

He was patched up and sent back and then went over-the-top again in the action of 7th June 1917 - the Battle of Messines. The 15th Hampshire were near St Eloi and in the centre of a 3 battalion advance and their objectives were "Dammstrasse", "Oblong Trench", and the final objective was "Englebrier Farm".

He was wounded again on that day, repatriated, and discharged due to wounds in July 1918.

So if possible I would like to obtain trench maps of the Flers area around the time of the battle in September 1916 and the St Eloi area around June 1917, and any help you can give would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation.

Kelvin

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Hi Kelvin,

McMaster University has many trench maps available online and you can search for a place name or trench name at http://library.mcmaster.ca/maps/ww1/ndx5to40.htm.

For example, searching under 'Delville Wood', this one is a 1:10000 scale with Flers and Delville Wood marked and trenches shown. You can zoom in to a high resolution and download an extract as a JPG:

Trench map, World War, 1914-1918; Montauban, UNKNOWN. January, 1916 - 1:10,000

This extract is at medium resolution:

post-66620-0-54383900-1398142210_thumb.j

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Wow WhiteStarLine thanks for that!

Very helpful and what a fantastic resource, although I note some are indexed but images aren't available.

Do you or does anyone else know of any other resources like this?

What about "then and now" type photographs?

Anything that might help us identify what we are seeing on the ground.

Thanks again. You are a Star!

Best wishes,

Kelvin

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Although not cheap you can not go far wrong with Linesman. Check it out at www.greatwardigital.com

Regards

Len

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Ken

Probably around 17 September why?

Kelvin

I live in Flers and would be happy to show you around if I'm at home. Keep in touch as your plans develop, if you wish.

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Len and Ken

Thank you so much guys for the advice and for the fantastic offers.

Very impressed with this forum!

I'll be back!

Bye for now

Kelvin

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