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Simon_Fielding

HOULTHOULST FOREST October 1917

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Simon_Fielding

Looking for this area in th Salient - WD 14th Gloucesters...TIA

29th October 1917. Platoons were inspected by their respective commanders in the morning. At about 4.0 p.m. Battalion moved off by Platoons to relieve the 7th Lincoln Regiment. Relief was completed by 9.30 p.m. without incident.

Casualties: - 3 Other Ranks wounded in action.

HOULTHOULST FOREST.

30th October 1917. Hostile shelling was regularly kept up during the day on LONVOIS FARM and PANAMA HOUSE. At 5 p.m. a barrage was put along our Corps Front as a diversion for the attack of the Division on our right. It was very quiet during the night. Our patrols were unable to get in contact with the enemy at any point.

Casualties:- 1 Officer wounded, 1 Other Rank killed, and 4 Other Ranks wounded.

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Phil Evans

Simon,

LOUVOIS FARM: 20.U.11.a.6.5

PANAMA HOUSE: 20.U.5.b.1.1

Both are on Sheet 20SW

Phil

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EDWARD1

Trench Map Co-ordinates Louvois Farm at 20SW4 U11a 5.5 and Panama House at 20SW4 U5b1.1

Eddie

Beaten by 2 mins by Phil

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Simon_Fielding

Great! Thanks both!

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bierast

I remember locating these places for the 1917 chapter of our book. In the course of following all the major Saxon units in Flanders for the duration, I think we must have looked at every part of the line at some point - and Houthulst Forest, in autumn 1917, struck me as the absolute worst. The area in front of it was quite simply a poisonous swamp full of corpses, and the forward part of the forest much the same except for the splintered tree trunks everywhere.

Saxon 58. Infanterie-Division had been here a week earlier, and returned on the night of 31st October - 1st November after being constantly on alert / in reserve in the interim with no chance to rest. I think 14th Gloucesters were opposite RIR 103 once the Saxons were back in line. My notes from the regimental histories state:

01-09.11.1917 - 58.ID holds the line south of Houthulst Forest. IR 107 on the right (with bRIR 23 on the right according to RG / IR 107), IR 106 in the centre (‘north of Mangelare’) and RIR 103 on the left. There is no wire left in front of the muddy shellholes occupied by IR 107 (Hauptwiderstandslinie with a thin outpost line) and the regiment sets to immediately to rectify this. Enemy infantry is similarly engaged, shelling now reduced to nuisance fire with light calibres and aircraft activity greatly reduced. Local attacks to improve the line are not ruled out, but considered unlikely due to the appalling condition of the ground. It is apparent that the enemy offensive has burned out (or rather drowned) here. However the division is also now extremely tired, having had little rest since its arrival from the Eastern front. All three regiments send out forward patrols, who establish the location of the enemy line and its MG positions. They also succeed in capturing British and French prisoners. This is probably when a forward patrol from IR 106 takes prisoners from French 127e RI / 162e DI (date unclear in source).

The history of IR 107 (at the other end of the divisionl front) notes that their forward patrols were out on the night of 1st-2nd November firing off flares to simulate the existence of advanced posts, which were considered impossible to actually maintain for any length of time.

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Simon_Fielding

Really interesting - thank you Andi. My casualty is a private of the 14th attached to the army service corps who was a casualty on the 29th october and is buried in canada farm. this really adds to the context of that event thank you.

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Cnock

Hi,

Fighting conditions at Houthust Forest in october -november 1917 were as horrible as at Passendale.

I also tramped the entire ground of the fighting for my book

Cnock


Houthulst Forest


Houthulst Forest

post-7723-0-43290500-1427630549_thumb.jp

post-7723-0-05502000-1427630643_thumb.jp

post-7723-0-80124400-1427630718_thumb.jp

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Cnock

Houthulst Forest

post-7723-0-04968300-1427630834_thumb.jp

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bierast

Those aerial photos are stunning and entirely new to me - thankyou for posting!

I suspect that you probably know my co-author Jürgen Schmieschek via WFA Belgie - he has done layout work for Shrapnel and several of the books published by the association.

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Cnock

Hello,

My publisher knows Jürgen Schmieschek very good, he has done the lay out for this book.

Cnock

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bierast

I thought I recognised the layout style! I don't remember him mentioning your book, but he is always busy with several projects at once.

With our own book, the publisher agreed to let Jürgen have full control of the layout (except for the cover) - hence we were able to use the absolute maximum number of pages allowed (256) and leave none of them blank! Right now we are completing work on a special publication for our book launch at Zonnebeke on 25-26 April.

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Simon_Fielding

Really interesting pictures-thank you!

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johnmelling1979

Hello

Can some one please tell me what the 14th (Service) Battalion (West of England) Gloucestershire Regiment was up to as of 22 October 1917

As a rough guess ... Panama house ? If that rings a bell....

It for my website as im researching a soldier

Cheers

John

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Sgt Thomas William Chisholm

Very interesting indeed thanks for putting this up here. I just read and transcribed an entry from my grandfather Sgt Thomas William Chisholm recording the anniversary of him being wounded at Houthulst Forest 26th October 1917. The diary records his progress after being captured at The Battle of Aisne 27th May 1918 through as a POW at Giessen, Darmstadt, and Lamsdorf until his release 1st January 1919. If you're interested you can find it here. www.facebook.com/SgtTWChisholm

 

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