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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

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Hello. Following a very informative visit to the Somme last week, I've been doing some more research into an assault on the Pope's Nose adjacent to the Ulster Tower by the Lancashire Fusiliers on the afternoon of the 28th September 1916 in which my Grandfather, 2nd Lt William Morris, was one of the 3 officers involved. The attack followed the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and was sucessful in taking a swathe of the German front line from the Ulster Tower down to the St Pierre Divion/Ancre River.

I have an account of the events here (http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/infantry-histories/library/TheLancashire-Fusiliers-Annual-1917/files/assets/basic-html/page275.html) and it states that the attack was carried out via the East KOYLI SAP and involved a run of about 100 yds into the German front line trench. I have found a map of the trenches which clearly shows the location of the East KOYLI SAP which they used in the attack. My son, who was with us on the recent trip to the Somme, has managed to overlay the trench map onto a sattelite image of the area (kids hey!) and the image clearly shows that the SAP runs directly through the grounds of the Ulster Tower ending just outside the boundary of the Ulster Tower grounds. It also shows the likely position of the Pope's Nose which I've seen often noted as (and believed) being the surviving position slightly to the West and is accessible as the concrete structure with railway sleepers sticking out of it; it seems this was probably an observation position and is at the end of the KOYLI West SAP. The Pope's Nose seems more likely to have been closer to the Ulster Tower as detailed on the image below.

During our trip last week, we stopped at the Tower for the tour with Teddy Colligan and afterwards had a cup of tea and decided to sit outside in the sun on a picnic bench just to the side of the cafe; little did we realise that we were sitting on just about the exact spot at the end of the East KOYLI SAP that my Grandfather had exited and subsequently been wounded in his leg whilst entering the German trenches - what a strange but marvellous coincidence.

Anyway, I thought the attached map was such a great piece of work by my Son I'd shre it as it might be helpful to someone?




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It is an extraordinary feeling to walk upon the precise land that someone who was there wrote about. I can only imagine how it must feel to be on the very spot that your grandfather (and great-grandather) fought across.

I hadn't realised that the British had pushed trenches out into no-man's land beyond the wood between July 1st and 28th September.

Thank you for posting this.

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