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Remembered Today:

Frontier Control Duty 1916


owen4256
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I recently came across a reference to 3rd Division Cyclist providing an officer and 37 men for "Frontier Control Duty". The unit was based south of Ypres at the time but as far as I know the Dutch Belgian border was entirely in German occupied Belgium so I am struggling to work out which frontier would need to be controlled. Any thoughts appreciated.

Regards

Clive

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What about the Belgian / France border.

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Ploegsteert directly south of Ypres on the border with France, and Armentieres just over the same border point. WD would say where exactly 3 Div was based at the time.

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Thanks both. That does seem to be the only logical explanation but the rationale for British troops doing frontier control on the Franco-Belgian border still escapes me. Intrigued by the nature of the controls in place "did you load this GS wagon yourself sir?" doesn't really seem approporiate.

Regards

Clive

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There were Belgian refugees still heading for France. And many other possible persons crossing. They needed to make sure that no enemy tried to pass for a Belgian refugee to come spy on the Allies.

Mars

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Mars

Thanks for the clarification, not a duty I had ever seen before in a war diary .

Regards

Clive

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3rd Division was in Second Army for the whole of 1915 and the first half of 1916, firstly in II Corps and later in V Corps. This confirms that they were somewhere in the Salient throughout that time. Does that tally with the report you mention? - it probably does, as divisional cyclist companies were consolidated into corps cyclist battalions in about May 1916.

Ron

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Ron

Yes it does, first three months of 1916. They went into IX Corps Cyclist Battalion on 11th May.

Clive

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