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Frank Flanders

messines trench map

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Frank Flanders

hello, can anyone send me a trench map and  locate the postion of these coordinates (further on) which refer to a former temporary burial ground (then named Auckland cemetery) at Messines, it was apparently located at the northern bank of the Douve river, just below the NZ attack line in June 1917

coordinates V.7.A.5.6

 

many thanks if so

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tMapper

Hi Frank,

 

Did you mean U.7.a.5.6?

 

If so, visit http://tmapper.com/mapping/overlay_28sw4.php and navigate to square U, square number 7.  Slide the overlay to reveal more or less of the trench map.

 

2017-06-27.png.4ac1de76e3056264171ddda12cc1b442.png

If you want to download the map (which originally came from McMaster University under a Creative Commons License, an extract is at http://tmapper.com/images/maps/28SW4.jpg.

 

 

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Frank Flanders

Wow, this a really quick response and I'm very happy with this! Thanks so very much, also on behalf of the NZ friends whose grand uncle once was buried there on June 7th 1917. 

(btw the upper link doens't work)

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Phil Wood

Hadn't used TMapper before so I gave it a go with this. Whilst I'm happy to praise the site as a great resource for researchers I do have to note that the alignment of the overlay is a bit out.  Not so far out that you can't relate the two, but ....

 

I guess the maths is a little out.

Capture.JPG

19 hours ago, Frank Flanders said:

temporary burial ground (then named Auckland cemetery) at Messines

 

I guess it's a lot better than Stinking Farm. :)

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Frank Flanders

indeed thas was the trench map name of farm at the time. There's still a farm tehre, passed by it yesterday.

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Howard
20 hours ago, Frank Flanders said:

hello, can anyone send me a trench map and  locate the postion of these coordinates (further on) which refer to a former temporary burial ground (then named Auckland cemetery) at Messines, it was apparently located at the northern bank of the Douve river, just below the NZ attack line in June 1917

coordinates V.7.A.5.6

 

many thanks if so

This is from the "Body Density" series and is marked on the reverse in blue pencil, AAM, thought to be Lt. Col. A.A. Messer, a key member of what became the CWGC. It is assumed he marked the map.

 

Square 7 shows Stinking Farm and next to it what looks like a 7 but is more likley to be an arrow as other cemeteries on the map have an arrow but no number.

 

Howard

28U.jpg

28U-2.jpg

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Frank Flanders

quite an interesting map this is ! thanks as well ! what does AAM stand for ?

 

Edited by Frank Flanders

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Phil Wood
22 minutes ago, Frank Flanders said:

quite an interesting map this is ! thanks as well ! what does AAM stand for ?

 

 

A A Messer see post 6

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Frank Flanders

indeed, obviously, overlooked this, thanks again

 

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Frank Flanders
6 hours ago, tMapper said:

Hi Frank,

 

Did you mean U.7.a.5.6?

 

If so, visit http://tmapper.com/mapping/overlay_28sw4.php and navigate to square U, square number 7.  Slide the overlay to reveal more or less of the trench map.

 

2017-06-27.png.4ac1de76e3056264171ddda12cc1b442.png

If you want to download the map (which originally came from McMaster University under a Creative Commons License, an extract is at http://tmapper.com/images/maps/28SW4.jpg.

 

 

 

no not U, but  V.7.A.5.6 (CWGC information)

Edited by Frank Flanders
error

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Howard

Nothing seen at V.7.A.5.6 on the Body Density map or others I have looked at although I have not checked them all.

 

Howard

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Frank Flanders
11 hours ago, tMapper said:

Hi Frank,

 

Did you mean U.7.a.5.6?

 

 

V.7.A.5.6 are coordinates I got from teh CWGC

 

 

Quote

 

If so, visit http://tmapper.com/mapping/overlay_28sw4.php and navigate to square U, square number 7.  Slide the overlay to reveal more or less of the trench map.

 

2017-06-27.png.4ac1de76e3056264171ddda12cc1b442.png

If you want to download the map (which originally came from McMaster University under a Creative Commons License, an extract is at http://tmapper.com/images/maps/28SW4.jpg.

 

 

 

Edited by Frank Flanders

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Frank Flanders

Ichecked the CWGC file and the so called "V" appaears to me very well as "U", so your guess may be correct.

see file I attached.

doc1837985.JPG

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Frank Flanders

hi, after checking and informing with CWGC the coordinates are indeed

28U.7.a.5.6

but nearby exhumations are also noted with these coordinates:

28U.7.a.8.7

perhaps a good wiling person could check these coordinates on overlay maps for me, for overlay mapping is "Greek" to me...

thanks if you can do this

Edited by Frank Flanders
typo

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Howard

Here is an overlay on Google Earth. U.7.a.5.6 is shown as green lines, U.7.a.8.7 is the red feature as marked by Messer.

 

Howard

28U-3.jpg

28U-4.jpg

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tMapper

And here is Howard's map as a Google Map heatmap.  Visit http://tmapper.com/mapping/heatmap.php and click on the 'Ypres' button, then Messines is due south.

Mesen.jpg.702b5d7a203e1f8b5620014b5c419430.jpg

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Frank Flanders
21 hours ago, Howard said:

Here is an overlay on Google Earth. U.7.a.5.6 is shown as green lines, U.7.a.8.7 is the red feature as marked by Messer.

 

Howard

28U-3.jpg

28U-4.jpg

Thank you so much Howard for this effort of yours and these overlay maps, the other one(s) as well. It means a great deal to me but the more for the relatives of the fallen soldier boy. Really appreciated !!!

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Frank Flanders
On 27-6-2017 at 16:48, Frank Flanders said:

 

no not U, but  V.7.A.5.6 (CWGC information)

 

On 27-6-2017 at 10:04, tMapper said:

Hi Frank,

 

Did you mean U.7.a.5.6?

 

If so, visit http://tmapper.com/mapping/overlay_28sw4.php and navigate to square U, square number 7.  Slide the overlay to reveal more or less of the trench map.

 

2017-06-27.png.4ac1de76e3056264171ddda12cc1b442.png

If you want to download the map (which originally came from McMaster University under a Creative Commons License, an extract is at http://tmapper.com/images/maps/28SW4.jpg.

 

 

I'd like to thank you "TMapper" as well for you kind cooperation in this coordinates matter. As I said in another post here, it really means much to me and even more to the relatives of the fallen soldier boy who will visit the place with me in July. Thanks so much !

Edited by Frank Flanders
typo

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Aurel Sercu

Frank,

 

To be honest ...

1. I am not really familiar with the area (I live north of Ypres), and  

2. most of all, after having a look on CWGC, specifically the Burial Returns of a number of Auckland men, I ... took to my heels, as it looks rather complicated and confusing !

Example: I saw a handful of men fallen on 7 July 1917, bodies found V.7.a.5.8 (Day, Kelly (Kelleher?), Hardwick, Wilson), in 3-F-23 to 27. Which I found a little odd, as V.7 is east of Warneton centre ! And then I looked at the men 3-F-27 & 28 (Brown and Richdale). Same co-ordinates, except that the V looks rather like a U ... What if what I saw first as a V (Day, Kelleher, Hardwick, Wilson) should be a U ? Anyway I don't want to bother you with my confusion and frustration, you already have enough problems of your own.  :-)

 

Aurel

Edited by Aurel Sercu
typo

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Frank Flanders

the coordinates concerned are (28)U (etc..), not.(28)V (etc ..), though in the handwritten document the U looks a bit like a V.

This confusion was rapidly cleared out. 

I had extended communication with the CWGC about this research and the soldiers buried at the specific

coordinates and Auckland cemetery, all fallen on 7th JUNE 1917, some other British on other dates end 1914, early 1915.

The whole question of coordinates, the name and the actual location has been solved.

I know the area very well, been there many times exploring. Everything matches.

The only thing stll left was, asking if any one else still had more information about  Auckland cemetery,

one never knows something extra might have turned up.

 

the 4 men you mention (all from Auckland Cemetery originally)  PS: it's Kelleher  / Hilson (not Wilson)

RICHDALE, JACK CYRIL

10108

Private

2nd Bn.

Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

7/06/1917

BROWN, HUIA VIVIAN

24484

Private

2nd Bn.

Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

7/06/1917

DAY, FREDERICK

11005

Private

2nd Bn.

Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

7/06/1917

KELLEHER, JAMES

27650

Private

2nd Bn.

Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

7/06/1917

HARDWICK, WILLIAM ALBERT

18797

Private

2nd Bn.

Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

7/06/1917

HILLSON, CHARLES*

26/1607

Rifleman

4th Bn. 3rd

New Zealand Rifle Brigade

7/06/1917

Edited by Frank Flanders
extra info added

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Aurel Sercu

I agree. The V had to be read as a U indeed.

So Auckland men were buried in at least 3 different locations in the subsquare  28.U.7.a.

- The red cemetery marked on the Body density map.

- 5.6, which is more or less in the yard of the farm (just south of the mainbuilding)

- And 5.8, which is just north of the farmhouse, close to the road. (And that is where Day, Kelly (Kelleher), Hardwick and Wilson were originally buried.)

Correct ?

And if T.E. Smith, 15WYR, +29-09-1917 was found indeed on U (not V).a.1.8, then there is even a fourth one, though maybe only for 1 man. (Top left corner of the subsquare, left of the 'elbow' in the road or cart track.)

 

Aurel

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Frank Flanders

the (...)5.6 and (...5.8) digits do indeed refer to the farm / places you mention. The body density map indeed locates the cemetery aside of the farm, so there may have been 3 burial spots, though i's certainly not excluded that the indication very well may have referred to one of the coordinates.  It wouldn't be that exceptional that also (even individual) soldiers were buried here and there of course.( As to T. E. Smith, he's no part of my research, where did you find his date?) On the spot you refer to, the Body Density map doesn't indicate a cemetery or possible burial).

Frank

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Howard

I have tried to get a better geo-reference for this but have had a lot of trouble, something does not quite match as you can see if you compare the map-fit with other sources.

 

So I took a different approach, fitting the McMaster map only for square U by scaling  just that fragment over the Google Earth image then marking the two map references. Even so the fit is not brilliant.

 

These are shown as the centres of the square 8.7 and 5.6 and give a more accurate location, however, such are the problems of fitting old surveys to new maps that they should be treated as "in the area of" rather than anything more precise but at least are better than before.

 

One reason the fit is a bit iffy is the nature of the roads, in the 100 years since the war no doubt they have been mended, widened etc. and the stream south of the farm will have wondered a bit. The farm buildings are not likely to be exactly on the same footprint as before so if the map is fitted to one feature, it does not fit on another. I took an average.

 

If you want better accuracy, the best way is to identify a fixed point that was there in the war and is still there and to take bearings and distances from that point. I cannot assess such a point, a site visit would be required.

 

If you take a bearing to 8.7 from the pond centre it gives a value of 43 degrees on the old map, very different from the value here. The pond is not likely to either be marked exactly on the old map (surveyors sketched ponds by eye) or be in exactly the same place now. If you can find a fixed point that would help.

 

If (big if!) I assume the SE corner of the buildings on the McMaster map coincides with the SE corner of the property now (it looks like it) and draw bearing lines from that, then 8.7 with be 58 degrees and 5.6 will be 315 degrees from that point. Scaling to where the bearing lines cuts the road gives an approximate position that is qute different from the first approach.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Howard

Stinking Farm.jpg

Stinking Farm2.jpg

Edited by Howard
Typos and added second image

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Aurel Sercu
15 hours ago, Frank Flanders said:

the (...)5.6 and (...5.8) digits do indeed refer to the farm / places you mention. The body density map indeed locates the cemetery aside of the farm, so there may have been 3 burial spots, though i's certainly not excluded that the indication very well may have referred to one of the coordinates.  It wouldn't be that exceptional that also (even individual) soldiers were buried here and there of course.( As to T. E. Smith, he's no part of my research, where did you find his date?) On the spot you refer to, the Body Density map doesn't indicate a cemetery or possible burial).

Frank

 

Frank,

 

As to how many burial places (apart from the red one of the Body Density Map), no reason to bother. After all the distance between 5.6 and 5.8 is only 9 metres (and in practice it may have been even less - or more).

 

As to Thomas Edwin Smith, don't worry about him.. (And he is in Plot 3 - row C - grave 11, and was 15th WYR.) The concentration document shows V.6.a.1.8 as the original co-ordinates, and the handwritten V no doubt is  a V for sure, as it is very different from the U just below. So the man was exhumed near Waasten. Besides, the year I gave was a typo. (Sorry.) He died 29 Sept. 1918, the beginning of the final Liberation Offensive. And they started from near Waasten, not from near Stinking Farm.

 

Aurel

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Frank Flanders

right. the difference is indeed rather small. Only on Col. messers map, the cemetery is locatd to the left, a bit further and larger distance. But np .

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