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johntaylor

Post-war visit to Ypres Salient: the final challenge

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johntaylor

Following the brilliant success of Forum Pals in identifying other photos which I assumed were impossible to locate, here is the final one taken by an officer of 17th Bn London Regiment and 4th Bn Tank Corps on a visit to the Ypres Salient area in the early 1920s.

 

This one shows a large gutted and roofless building, with something similar to the left.  In the middle distance are a number of small black marks which might be people, and small white marks which might be gravestones.  On the left is a dark area where the ground seems to drop away - perhaps a cutting, ravine, or even part of Ypres Canal or moat?  In the foreground is a collection of debris including what look like light railway lines and an elaborate metal framework with wheels, perhaps part of a railway carriage or farm machine.

 

The building and scene must have had some significance and I'm confident someone will be able to tell me the answer.

 

Eagerly awaiting your replies,

 

John

Buildings for GWF.jpg

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I think the implement is an agricultural cultivator.
You can see at least 3 tines underneath.
So that narrows it down to an agricultural area of France or Flanders!

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AOK4

The tool is definitely a harrow.

 

Otherwise I have no idea where the picture may have been taken.

 

Jan

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johntaylor

I hope roel22 sees this as he seems to know the area like the back of his hand.  Will keep looking.

 

John

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Fattyowls

So do I; he is on a Roel after all........:D

 

Sorry Roel, couldn't resist it.

 

Pete.

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roel22

How difficult can it be? :D

 

Roel :unsure:

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I think it's this sort of implement:
http://www.patrickedwardsmachinery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_3714.jpg

This 9 Tine Cultivator one is much later, but the manufacturer Ransomes of Ipswich were manufacturing cultivators in the 19th century.

They also made steam engines and planes for the war effort.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomes,_Sims_%26_Jefferies

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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johntaylor

Any ideas?  We're in Ypres now and would love to do a quick 'then and now' comparison...

 

John

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roel22

I agree the dark part on the left may be a moat. The dark(er) dot in the middle may be some sort of sewer, ending in the moat? Which would suggest there are/were houses (a town or village?) behind the ruins. I tried finding such a location in Ypres, but so far no luck.

17th Bn fought in third Ypres, but I can't find a moat in that area.

 

Roel

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johntaylor

Part of me is glad that I've finally come up with a decent challenge for the Forum.  However I'm more sorry not to be able to come up with an instant solution. However I'd be grateful for any further thoughts - can always check it out on my next visit!

 

Thanks for your help, John

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roel22

Perhaps the central building is a bunker? I only see a door and maybe two very small windows to the right.

I realise there's a roof (or what's left of it) on the building, but that may have been a way to conceal the bunker for aeroplanes.

Maybe London Regiment/Tank Corps headquarters?

Compared to the damaged roof the building itself still looks pretty solid.

On second thought I don't think the black spot in the middle is a sewer, but part of a bridge. If you follow the road (and the wall) above it it takes a turn to the right, ending where the debris is.

 

Roel

Edited by roel22

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horrocks

If the dark area is a bridge or a culvert it may indicate that the building beyond is a water mill.

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Michelle Young

This is a real shot in the dark, but could it possibly be Bedford House? 

 

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stevem49

Which lot of the tankies attacked Poelcapelle in October 1917? 

Saying that I believe Poelcapelle was just a pile of rubble by the end of the war.

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Gareth Davies

D Bn.

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roel22

John, is this photo part of an album? if so, what photo's are on the previous/later page? Perhaps these locations can help us determine where the photo was taken.

 

Roel

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johntaylor

Thanks for these interesting thoughts and suggestions. I'm pretty sure these are all single photos and were never posted in an album, so there are no clues from the sequence. Having said that, I haven't seen the originals and will ask my friend Vince McGarry, who made these copies.  He's planning to ask if he can make higher quality scans, which may throw up some more clues.

 

The other photos show the centre of Ypres, Essex Farm, Hill 60 and Oxford Road Cemetery (as identified by Forum members).  The most likely option for this one is somewhere in Ypres, looking over a section of the canal or moat, but I have no idea beyond that.  There are no other shots of Poelkapelle and no indications that he went that far. If so I'm sure he would have photographed the abandoned tanks which were then still in evidence.

 

My friend Rob Kirk was prowling round Ypres after I left today, trying to see if he could find a location - he came up a couple of possibilities so I'll post them once I've seen his comparison shots.

 

John

 

 

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