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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Kemmel 1918


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My great grandfather Heinrich Unland (German, yep) was killed in action 14th of may 1918 near Kemmel Hill (Belgium). It's very hard to find anything in German archives, as most of them were lost during WWII. I only know he fought between Kleine Vierstraat and Kemmel Village in Reserve Infanterie Regiment 238, and his unit was trying to re-capture a trench lost to British troops the day he went missing. Is there anyone who has information/maps/anything about the British units near Kemmel in may 1918? It might be of great help to me!

Thanks in advance, Roel

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Cant help you with your querie Im affraid, but welcome to the forum. You will find a lot of experts here will probably be able to help you though, also a lot of German experts so post away...


Steve Chilton

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Wilkommen bei the Forum Roel!

I am sure you will find this a great resource especially while reseaching actions around Kemmel. While you are waiting to see what others reply here I would recommend using the search function (second icon from the left on the top tool bar)to see the other threads related to Kemmel. Not a week ago there was some discussions with pictures and maps about the area. Good luck! Andy

ps... This is the thread I was referring to

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Hello Roel.

I think you should look for French troops not British.

Is it Kleine Vierstraat cabaret?.

Looking for a battlefield area : Kemmel Hill - Kleine Vierstraat cabaret - Scherpenberg.

In wich could be :

1) French 121 infantry Division : - (10 may - 27 may) - was attacked by the Germans on 14 may and 27 may.

2) French 129 infantry Division : - sector : Scherpenberg ( but Scherpenberg north of Kemmel, north - west of Kleine Vierstraat.

But If you have more details...

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About the location of the fights on may 14th: it was in the Basseye-area, north of Kemmel village. 'Kleine Vierstraat' as I mentioned, is nothing more than a junction. The trench they were trying to recapture was on 'Hill 44'.

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Hello Roel

All French regiments...

404 - in the Godezonne area : month of may

36 - area De Clytte

205 - Rac ( artillery regiment - (Fuss artillerie regiment F.A.R)

55 bat. chasseurs à pied - Riffles -- Jäger

Don't know if those regiments have a published history of the regiment..

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Thank you for the information, you're a great help! You have any idea where I can find French regimental histories? So far I haven't really been focussing on the French part of the war, I'm afraid...

many thanks


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I checked out the site you mentioned -with the little French I can read- but I don't think it's any of those regiments. The 404 comes close, but they went to Kemmel may 20th; my great-grandfather was KIA the 14th. But in your first post you mentioned the French 121 infantry division, which was attacked by The Germans om may 14th. Do you have any possible links to this division?

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You found the Battle of Locre (West of Kemmel). Not what you are looking for.

The 121 division has:

Infantry : 11th group BCP (Bat. Jâger)= Bat. Riffles. part of (45th -48th-55th)

404 R.I; 36 R.I

Cavalry : 3th Esc. / 7th dragoons

Artillery : 205 th RAC (Fuss- artillerie) and 6th group / 135th R.A.L (schwere Artillery)

Genie : (ing.) compagny 11/74, cie 15/36

Service de Sante - (abteilung gesundheit) - (Health serv.) SSU/65, SSA/38

telegraph :sec. telegraph.

I am sure this is what you are looking for -- Did you searched in the German books : Authors: Kabisch und Goes and the many German regiments histories about the battle of the "Kemmel"

All those troops I mentioned were around and close to Baseie. I dont think there are published regiments histories

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Many thanks (so far)! I'll keep you posted about my inquiries...

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I'm pretty sure I found the regiment my great-grandfathers unit was up against. On the website you mentioned I found plenty of regiments fighting near Kemmel in 1918. But only one -the 15eme Regiment d'Infanterie- actually fought at Hill 44 in may. The same hill my great-grandfather was killed.

So you were right after all: a French regiment, not British!

You've been a great help!

Thanks again


btw: you have any idea which divison this regiment was part of?

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Hello Roel,

You are looking for the (French) 32th infantry division

Came to Belgium. From 1 november - until 13 november 1914: defences of Wijtschate (Wytschaete). Wytschaete was taken by the Germans on 2th november, but the western en northwest was in French hands. Wytschaete was (90%) in German hands 20 november 1914. (heavy battles on 14,15 and 16 december 1914.) (this battles are unknown to the British)

in 1918 :

from 4 until 16 may - defence of the Flemish Hills (Kemmel, ..)

infantry : 15th - 80th and 143 th

cavalry: 1th Esc/1th Hussar

Artillery : 3th Rac - regiment artillerie de campagne (Field artillery) -6th group /116 RAL -reg. art. lourde. - (heavy) (schwere).

Genie (ing.): Cie 16/2 - and 16/52

Service de Santé (Health - Gesundheidsabteilung) GBD, Amb 3/16, SSA, Amb/517

Parc et convois : (transport) PAD, cie de parc 16/71.

You are lucky: the 32th division has a memorial on Hill 44 - It's in the "Kriekstraat" at Kemmel. I look for a picture.

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I guess this is the monument you are referring to? Dedicated to the French 32rd division.

Would be quite a coincidence...

I made a videorecording of it a some five years ago when I drove by and saw a shell at the bottom of the monument...

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