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Remembered Today:

Sleepers at La Sucrerie, Somme


horrocks
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These are each side of the Sucrerie - Hebuterne road. Lassigny is just visible in the first, La Sucrerie CWCG in the second. I keep wondering if they are an old marker of the course of a communication trench, perhaps for the benefit of earlier generations of battlefield tourists, or merely an old base of the kind of temporary gantries that the farmers use hereabouts to carry irrigation pipes across the road. They are certainly well established.

 

Whilst I am on the question, does anyone have copies of maps of the British trenches in this area that they could kindly post up. I am researching the movements here of both Frederic Manning and Wilfred Owen.

 

20160928_0504_1024.jpg

 

20160928_0505_1024.jpg

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Post war I believe. 

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Post-war, surely, but what was their function?

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Bumping this. Any more thoughts on function?

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Probably to show the location of a well?

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I doubt it. There are two sets facing each other on opposite sides of the road. It is very close to Euston Dump.

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We still have similar looking setups for hydrants in an irrigation system - stops tractors hitting them or mowers whatever. Alternatively perhaps marking the end of a culvert or pipe?

Edited by Herekawe
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2 hours ago, Herekawe said:

We still have similar looking setups for hydrants in an irrigation system - stops tractors hitting them or mowers whatever. Alternatively perhaps marking the end of a culvert or pipe?

 

Which is more or less what I said, I had only not used the correct wording.

 

Nothing to do with WWI.

 

Jan

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Yes, much as I had imagined.

 

I mentioned trench maps as an aside. Does anyone have them for this area?

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56 minutes ago, horrocks said:

I mentioned trench maps as an aside. Does anyone have them for this area?

 

Tons of them! (French, British and German dating from May 1915 through to July 1918 inclusive)

 

Any particular date?

 

Dave

Edited by CROONAERT
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Somme period really Dave, through to Feb. Were there an awful lot of changes in that time?

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Presuming here that you mean the 1916 'Somme period' , here's an extract of your area from November 1916...

 

Dave

Hebuterne Nov 1916 (Secret).jpg

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...and February 1917...

Hebuterne Feb 1917.jpg

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Yes, I did indeed refer to the 1916 BOS period, perfect, and as I suspected, not huge changes through the period. Thank you very much for going to the trouble to post them.

 

I continue to accept, as I in fact suggested in my original post, that the sleepers most likely have an agricultural function. However, their position coincides very neatly with the point at which Southern Avenue crosses the Sucrerie - Hebuterne road. I therefore reiterate the comment made at the outset, and wonder if there is any possibility at all that they might actually have formed markers to show much earlier generations of battlefield tourists where significant battlefield features once lay.

 

It seems likely that both Manning and later on Owen might have entered the communications network at this point, or in Railway Avenue. Manning certainly mentions walking along the Colincamps road and entering the trenches just after Euston Dump.

Edited by horrocks
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1 hour ago, horrocks said:

 

 

...their position coincides very neatly with the point at which Southern Avenue crosses the Sucrerie - Hebuterne road. I therefore reiterate the comment made at the outset, and wonder if there is any possibility at all that they might actually have formed markers to show much earlier generations of battlefield tourists where significant battlefield features once lay...

 

Here's the layout as at the beginning of July 1918 illustrating further features that appeared later in the war...

 

Dave

Image1.jpg

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...and a German extract from June 1918 showing the same area...

Auchonvillers June 1918.jpg

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another (clearer) German extract (April 1918)...

Hebuterne April 1918.jpg

Edited by CROONAERT
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Interesting that all the maps but the first also clearly show a communication way that runs precisely through the point at which the apparent remains of a shelter can still be seen on the turn of the track leading to La Sucrerie Cemetery.

 

Thanks again.

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