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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:



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Hello Micah,

I am very familiar with this area around Biaches, arising from my study of the Battle of Mont St Quentin, in particular the battalions of 5th Infantry Brigade, AIF and their role in that battle. Kiboko Wood is indeed on the map you have shown as a link and I double-checked on the battle maps I have here in front of me now.

Go to Biaches on that map and then slightly south of due west about 1200 metres. You should see it there near the top left corner of map square HI 36.

Other nearby woods are Grand Wood - about 500 metres south west of Biaches in map square HI 31/36 and Bandika Wood which is about 300 metres south west of Kiboko Wood in map square HI 35.

The words 'Kiboko' and 'Bandika' always intrigued me - they look African in origin, but I have no idea who named the woods in this area or when - perhaps someone who had previously served in East Africa??

Good luck,


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Hello again Micah,

You prompted me to do a little more research. I Googled the two words 'kiboko' and 'bandika'. I came up with Swahili translations as follows (plus a lot of info on safari tours in East Africa!):

Kiboko = hippopotamus; so Hippo Wood sounds good.

Bandika = stick; so Stick Wood might be appropriate depending on the thickness of the vegetation at the time.

I am almost embarrassed; I should have done this search much earlier, plus I learnt a smattering of Swahili during my own service there about 30 years ago, which is another story!



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This is incredible. Thank you for the extra info I never questioned the name it really is interesting to know.

This area of battle intrigues me especially from around 1917 onwards. I cannot wait to see this area in the very near future,

It is interesting to see how Biaches would have changed from war.

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Thnak you again. I totally overlooked this area. This is crazy. Thank you ! Now to place where the trenches were in 1917 to get a full picture. I know the battalion headquarters was in Iglau trench.

Also been trying to locate Kiboko wood on the map on google too with not much luck.


thank you


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'Kiboko Wood' - known to the French as 'Bois Désiré' and as 'Bertram Wald' to the Germans during 1914-18 - is now called 'Bois Marc'

'Bandika Wood' - known to the French as 'Bois Léon' and as 'Blücher Wald' to the Germans during 1914-18 - is now called 'Bois Honin'

'Grand Wood' - simply 'Bois de Biaches' or 'Biaches Wald' to the French and Germans - no longer exists as such.

Might be of use in case any of the alterative names crop up in any documentation?


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Hello Dave,

Its been really useful it confirms my research on google maps. I spent ages looking at google maps and the trench map and manged to find it and it was a guess that Kiboko Wood was Bois Marc. Thanks for confirming this for me.

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