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Gouzeaucourt and Villers-Plouich

Tom Lang

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My grandfather was killed on 24 Apr 1917 while serving with the 14th Bn Highland Light Infantry.
In researching his death and the operations of his Battalion that day, I have found that the 14th Bn HLI were supporting the 13th East Surrey Regt in the attack on the village of Villers-Plouich, France.

Simultaneously, the 14th Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders were attacking the village of Beaucamp, just to the west of Villers-Plouich. They were supported by the 11th Bn (K.O.) Royal Lancaster Regt.

These operations were part of a front of the 40th Division, 119th, 120th and 121st Brigades.

From a hand-written letter to my grandmother, my grandfather's Company Commander descibed the circumstances of my grandfather's death, in that "... he was killed outright by a shell before our first wave went forward...".
My grandfather is buried in Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery.

Due to the release of additional Grave Registration and Concentration Documents by the CWGC, I am able to establish that my grandfather was initially buried at Map Reference 57c Q.30.b.6.7. This is beside a trench to the north of Gouzeaucourt and south of Villers-Plouich. His body was exhumed and he was re-buried at Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery at 57c W.6.a.4.4.

I have downloaded the War Diaries of the 14th Bn HLI, 13th Bn East Surrey Regt, and the 14th Bn A&SH, to try and piece together the operations of that day.
I have been transcribing each of the War Diaries and have come across a German Map showing the opposing German forces.
The map is appended to the War Diary of the 14th Bn A&SH, with a Memo from the Brigade Major showing that each of the 4 Battalions were given a copy of this map.

I have Linesman so am able to 'see' much of the British view at the time.

My first question is to ask if anyone has a 'more clear' map like this (or any other map which shows the German view of things).

This map has now identified for me, the opposing German forces as 4th E.D., 236th [E].D., and 22nd R.D.
Which leads me to ask my second question - can anyone identify these German Regiments?

Kindest Regards,
Tom Lang.
P.S. The attachment may not be too clear, but I had to 'cut' and 'reduce' it to be able to upload a sample.


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4th Ersatz Division

236 Infantry Division (the E has been crossed out)

22nd Reserve Infantry Division


Thanks Phil.

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