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Frank Flanders

messines trench map

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Frank Flanders
9 hours ago, Howard said:

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

Thanks for this Howard. A very appreciable work you did. What still remains the same, is that the coordinates do match with this farm and the location of the burials even though it may not be a 100% full match, the difference is small. The pond is most likely, even as good as certain, a spot that has indeed not been altered since 100 years. The coordinates U.7.a.8.7 indeed seem to match better with the location of the cemetery near Stiking Farm on Col. Messers (Body Density) map (on CWGC documents also called Auckland Cemetery). These coordinates U.7.a.8.7 though aren't in the CWGC reports, but that is no major importance. 

On this new map, I don't see the U.7.A.5.8  coordoinates though. 

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jacksdad

Hi Frank

I think you may find that Auckland Cemetery (AC) was mostly in the sheltered area around the back of the farm buildings, rather than where the body density map 'red dot' locates it. it maybe that there were some graves near the road and maybe even the cemetery name sign hung on the fence, but in my research i have found that there is always a bit of discrepancy in "lost" Cemetery locations. 

There was an RAP at that farm during the start of the battle, and the New Zealanders buried at AC, especially the 2/Auckland battalion men would more than likely been buried after they died at the RAP, so if your burying men under stray rifle fire from the Germans on the ridge, your probably going to go around the back of the buildings, not stand out in the open in the paddock around the front.

The men buried at AC, also sometimes referred to as Stinking Farm Cemetery, seem to have all been moved to Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Cemetery.

I have only researched the New Zealanders, they are buried in II.B. 3, 7 & 21. and III.C. 13 -16 and III.F. 23-30.

those in II.B. are all recorded as located at  U.7.a.5.6.

III.F. are all recorded as U.7.a.5.8 (although 29 & 30 are recorded as U.6.a.5.8. which i think could be a mistake, as their military files clearly state place of burial "Auckland Cemetery, Stinking Farm" and U.6.a.5.8. is in German territory at the time that they were buried.)

III.C are all U.7.a.5.8

Counting these up that makes 14 NZD men, 16 if we count III.F.29 & 30.

but obviously none of these is exactly where the AAM body density map puts the cemetery.

 

I think if your guy is Jack Street, you can be relatively certain that he was originally buried around the back of the buildings.

 

Cheers Roger

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Frank Flanders
13 hours ago, jacksdad said:

Hi Frank

I think you may find that Auckland Cemetery (AC) was mostly in the sheltered area around the back of the farm buildings, rather than where the body density map 'red dot' locates it. it maybe that there were some graves near the road and maybe even the cemetery name sign hung on the fence, but in my research i have found that there is always a bit of discrepancy in "lost" Cemetery locations. 

There was an RAP at that farm during the start of the battle, and the New Zealanders buried at AC, especially the 2/Auckland battalion men would more than likely been buried after they died at the RAP, so if your burying men under stray rifle fire from the Germans on the ridge, your probably going to go around the back of the buildings, not stand out in the open in the paddock around the front.

The men buried at AC, also sometimes referred to as Stinking Farm Cemetery, seem to have all been moved to Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Cemetery.

I have only researched the New Zealanders, they are buried in II.B. 3, 7 & 21. and III.C. 13 -16 and III.F. 23-30.

those in II.B. are all recorded as located at  U.7.a.5.6.

III.F. are all recorded as U.7.a.5.8 (although 29 & 30 are recorded as U.6.a.5.8. which i think could be a mistake, as their military files clearly state place of burial "Auckland Cemetery, Stinking Farm" and U.6.a.5.8. is in German territory at the time that they were buried.)

III.C are all U.7.a.5.8

Counting these up that makes 14 NZD men, 16 if we count III.F.29 & 30.

but obviously none of these is exactly where the AAM body density map puts the cemetery.

 

I think if your guy is Jack Street, you can be relatively certain that he was originally buried around the back of the buildings.

 

Cheers Roger

Thank you Roger for this extra information which is indeed very welcome.  

Next Monday I'm guiding relatives of Pte. jack Street around in the Messines area and former June 7th 1917 NZ attack line and sites.  

Interrsting to know there was an RAP at Stinking Farm at that time; if you like you can tell me more about this or where to find more on this.

Indeed the soldiers buried at Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Rd. Mil. Cemetery in II B all are recorded as being brought in from  U.7.a.5.6., i.e. Jack Street and  6 British DCLI men who died in late 1914 and in early 1915; also the 12 NZ soldiers who were listed as having been originally buried at AC all are there in rows III C and F  (11 of Auckland Regiment, one of the NZ MGC). The CWGC list I received says all 12 were buried at 28.U.7.a.5.8 (also III F 29 and 30), not U.6.a.5.8.

My NZ guests (and I) intend to pay tribute to all NZ men buried there.

btw you mentione 16 NZL soldiers, I only count 15 from what you wrote above, an error?

Lest We Forget.

kindest regards from Flanders, Frank.

 

Edited by Frank Flanders
extra info added

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Howard
2 hours ago, Frank Flanders said:

Thank you Roger for this extra information which is indeed very welcome.  

Next Monday I'm guiding relatives of Pte. jack Street around in the Messines area and former June 7th 1917 NZ attack line and sites.  

 

Then you might find this map interesting, IX Corps attack, and this map showing details of the Second Army barrage. Both are on the WFA Mapping the Front DVD for Ypres.

 

Howard

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Frank Flanders
1 hour ago, Howard said:

Then you might find this map interesting, IX Corps attack, and this map showing details of the Second Army barrage. Both are on the WFA Mapping the Front DVD for Ypres.

 

Howard

Thanks for these maps, one I already had, but very welcome !

 

Frank

 

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Frank Flanders
56 minutes ago, Frank Flanders said:

Thanks for these maps, one I already had, but very welcome !

 

Frank

 

If you would have map that shows a more detailed overwiew of the II Anzac corps at Messines that woudl be welcome.

I do not have a map that shows the positions of the brigades (& battalions) of the NZL divison, nor of those of the 25th Division. 

That would be of use too.; same for the 3rd  Australian division brigades. Frank

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Howard
45 minutes ago, Frank Flanders said:

If you would have map that shows a more detailed overwiew of the II Anzac corps at Messines that woudl be welcome.

I do not have a map that shows the positions of the brigades (& battalions) of the NZL divison, nor of those of the 25th Division. 

That would be of use too.; same for the 3rd  Australian division brigades. Frank

These are all I have, on Dropbox here.
M_5_000252.jpg maybe what you need although it is dated 19th May 1917 so probably only correct during the preparation phase.

 

I added some dated just after 7th. June.

 

Howard

 

M_5_000252.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 NW & SW [parts of], SECOND ARMY ATTACK MAP (Battle of Messines), May 1917, 19/05/1917

M_010291.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 SW, Belgium and Part of France, Apr 1917, 01/04/1917, Secret Edition No 97. Annotated, Trenches corrected to 1/4/1917

M_010761.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 SW, Belgium and Part of France, 12/07/1918, 11/07/1918, Secret Edition, Trenches corrected to 11/7/1918

M_021274.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 SW & 28 SE [parts of], SECOND ARMY AREA SHEET 3, May 1917, 23/06/1917, Hostile Battery Positions with Zone Call Numbers 23 June 1917

M_023361.jpg, 1:40,000, 28 [parts of], Situation Map, Messines Sector, 08/06/1917, Annotated with lines, British front line 6/6/1917 to 8/6/1917

M_023360.jpg, 1:40,000, 28 SW [parts of], Situation map, Ypres-Messines Sector, 07/06/1917, 07/06/1917, Fronts 7-6/1917

 

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Frank Flanders
1 hour ago, Howard said:

These are all I have, on Dropbox here.
M_5_000252.jpg maybe what you need although it is dated 19th May 1917 so probably only correct during the preparation phase.

 

I added some dated just after 7th. June.

 

Howard

 

M_5_000252.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 NW & SW [parts of], SECOND ARMY ATTACK MAP (Battle of Messines), May 1917, 19/05/1917

M_010291.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 SW, Belgium and Part of France, Apr 1917, 01/04/1917, Secret Edition No 97. Annotated, Trenches corrected to 1/4/1917

M_010761.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 SW, Belgium and Part of France, 12/07/1918, 11/07/1918, Secret Edition, Trenches corrected to 11/7/1918

M_021274.jpg, 1:20,000, 28 SW & 28 SE [parts of], SECOND ARMY AREA SHEET 3, May 1917, 23/06/1917, Hostile Battery Positions with Zone Call Numbers 23 June 1917

M_023361.jpg, 1:40,000, 28 [parts of], Situation Map, Messines Sector, 08/06/1917, Annotated with lines, British front line 6/6/1917 to 8/6/1917

M_023360.jpg, 1:40,000, 28 SW [parts of], Situation map, Ypres-Messines Sector, 07/06/1917, 07/06/1917, Fronts 7-6/1917

 

Thanks Howard, some of these I already had, but nevertheless, the other are welcome too. Kind of you, Frank

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Howard
3 hours ago, Frank Flanders said:

Thanks Howard, some of these I already had, but nevertheless, the other are welcome too. Kind of you, Frank

OK, now deleted from Dropbox.

 

Howard

 

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jacksdad

i guess you have his photo

302426?rendering=thumbnail.jpg

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jacksdad

 

His Military file states he was at the 3/NZF Amb with a strained ankle in Apr. that was located in the ecole at Neippe - the location given as B.16.c.7.8.

He then moves to the Divisional rest station run by the 2/NZF Amb at Steenwerk. A location i do not have, but the hand drawn map of the DRS shows it on the Steenwerk -Erquinghem Rd in a farm house complex on the west side of a road, which one i do not know.

he rejoins his battalion on 26/5/17 when they were billeted at Canteen Corner which you may know is near Seule.

the battalion diary states that they were supply work groups constructing the jump off trenches for the Messines offensive.

on the 5th May they moved to Hill 63. must be some where near or in view of Red lodge as there is a lot of talk about shellfire at Red Lodge.

on the night of the 6th they moved off to assembly trenches - via " Gas Trench - Locality three - Wellington Ave - Taranaki Ave - Otira" 

I can supply you a map of those trenches if needed. 

Gas trench ran off the top of hill 63 and the first (of 4 companies) left at 9:30 PM  - Jacks company (appears to be C Coy) they were the second to leave, so maybe 9:40 PM. everyone was assembled by 11:30 PM in front line.

 

I imagine you know that the 3/Rilfes was the first wave and that they advanced from Otira Trench up the centre right. between the NZ Memorial on their right and Messines Ridge Cemetery on their left. to the Brown line (objective).

I can send you a map with the objectives coloured in if needed.

 

War diary (WD) records "Ontario mine sprung at 3.09 AM" 

Zero Hour 3.10 AM

all men had jumped the parapet and vacated Otira by 3.15 AM.

 

by 12 noon there were 21 killed 75 wounded, 35 missing in 3/Rifles.

 

if your taking the family to see his grave.

Jack Street is buried at Wulverghem - Lindenhoek as you know, in the same cemetery, in II G 4 is Tom Hamblyn from from Taranaki his brother William killed on the same day is buried across in V.A.14. you'll see by their numbers 25516 & 25517 that they signed up together.

it would be worth taking them to the NZ Memorial (lists 828 New Zealanders) at Mesines ridge  Cem  on panel 31 is 24 year old Captain D B McFarlane he was the commanding officer who lead James Street's  Coy, in the first wave on the 7/6/17 he was killed at 3:30 AM that morning. It also lists on panel 27 Jim Hamblyn brother of Will & Tom buried at Wulverghem-Lindenhoek. a forth brother Henry was killed at the Somme in Oct 1916, The Hamblyn's lost 4 sons. Directly below Jim Hamblyn on panel 27 is Private Viggo Hansen he signed up with his cousin Carl Hansen who is buried here at Messines Ridge in V.B.12.

You may know that the NZ Memorial is circular because it is the base of a windmill that the New Zealanders first had to capture 2 Machine gun crews firing from the windmill ruins and once captured Captain Addison of NZ Medical Corps used it as an RAP. 

At the entrance to the cemetery on the road is where Brigadier General Charles Brown was killed by shell fire the following day while he spoke to General Andrew Russell commander of the NZD.

 

hope that gives you a bit to work with.

 

Cheers Roger

Edited by jacksdad

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jacksdad

Jacks commanding officer, killed the same day

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1917 - No known copyright restrictions

Edited by jacksdad

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jacksdad

Here's the location of the 3/Rifles RAP at Stinking farm.... you can't get much better than that,

that's the Wellington Lane tram line.

I guess the RAP was hidden behind the hedge here.IMG_8991.JPG.0358d48474c6d9ea46debde17f3cd67b.JPG

good luck with the family.

Edited by jacksdad

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jacksdad
On 6/28/2017 at 01:21, Howard said:

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

Hi Howard

where do you get access to the Body Density maps?

Cheers roger

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Howard
2 hours ago, jacksdad said:

Hi Howard

where do you get access to the Body Density maps?

Cheers roger

I spent 4 years scanning the IWM maps and with others, building their map database. Some of the scan collection are on the WFA's Mapping the Front DVDs, this one is on the Ypres edition along with many other maps that include square 28. Other body density maps are on the editions relevant to each area.

 

Howard

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Frank Flanders
20 hours ago, jacksdad said:

Here's the location of the 3/Rifles RAP at Stinking farm.... you can't get much better than that,

that's the Wellington Lane tram line.

I guess the RAP was hidden behind the hedge here.IMG_8991.JPG.0358d48474c6d9ea46debde17f3cd67b.JPG

good luck with the family.

Thank you very much, We had a wonderful day yesterday visiting and remembering. 

Edited by Frank Flanders
error

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Frank Flanders
On 10-7-2017 at 13:01, jacksdad said:

 

His Military file states he was at the 3/NZF Amb with a strained ankle in Apr. that was located in the ecole at Neippe - the location given as B.16.c.7.8.

He then moves to the Divisional rest station run by the 2/NZF Amb at Steenwerk. A location i do not have, but the hand drawn map of the DRS shows it on the Steenwerk -Erquinghem Rd in a farm house complex on the west side of a road, which one i do not know.

he rejoins his battalion on 26/5/17 when they were billeted at Canteen Corner which you may know is near Seule.

the battalion diary states that they were supply work groups constructing the jump off trenches for the Messines offensive.

on the 5th May they moved to Hill 63. must be some where near or in view of Red lodge as there is a lot of talk about shellfire at Red Lodge.

on the night of the 6th they moved off to assembly trenches - via " Gas Trench - Locality three - Wellington Ave - Taranaki Ave - Otira" 

I can supply you a map of those trenches if needed. 

Gas trench ran off the top of hill 63 and the first (of 4 companies) left at 9:30 PM  - Jacks company (appears to be C Coy) they were the second to leave, so maybe 9:40 PM. everyone was assembled by 11:30 PM in front line.

 

I imagine you know that the 3/Rilfes was the first wave and that they advanced from Otira Trench up the centre right. between the NZ Memorial on their right and Messines Ridge Cemetery on their left. to the Brown line (objective).

I can send you a map with the objectives coloured in if needed.

 

War diary (WD) records "Ontario mine sprung at 3.09 AM" 

Zero Hour 3.10 AM

all men had jumped the parapet and vacated Otira by 3.15 AM.

 

by 12 noon there were 21 killed 75 wounded, 35 missing in 3/Rifles.

 

if your taking the family to see his grave.

Jack Street is buried at Wulverghem - Lindenhoek as you know, in the same cemetery, in II G 4 is Tom Hamblyn from from Taranaki his brother William killed on the same day is buried across in V.A.14. you'll see by their numbers 25516 & 25517 that they signed up together.

it would be worth taking them to the NZ Memorial (lists 828 New Zealanders) at Mesines ridge  Cem  on panel 31 is 24 year old Captain D B McFarlane he was the commanding officer who lead James Street's  Coy, in the first wave on the 7/6/17 he was killed at 3:30 AM that morning. It also lists on panel 27 Jim Hamblyn brother of Will & Tom buried at Wulverghem-Lindenhoek. a forth brother Henry was killed at the Somme in Oct 1916, The Hamblyn's lost 4 sons. Directly below Jim Hamblyn on panel 27 is Private Viggo Hansen he signed up with his cousin Carl Hansen who is buried here at Messines Ridge in V.B.12.

You may know that the NZ Memorial is circular because it is the base of a windmill that the New Zealanders first had to capture 2 Machine gun crews firing from the windmill ruins and once captured Captain Addison of NZ Medical Corps used it as an RAP. 

At the entrance to the cemetery on the road is where Brigadier General Charles Brown was killed by shell fire the following day while he spoke to General Andrew Russell commander of the NZD.

 

hope that gives you a bit to work with.

 

Cheers Roger

You're welcome (Nieppe it should be, not Neippe) Map of those trenches you mention would be welcome of course (" Gas Trench - Locality three - Wellington Ave - Taranaki Ave - Otira" . The cemetery information on Jack, as wel as on other NZL soldiers like the Hamblyn brothers I do have (they're on my FB page of remembrance),  I visited their graves before and also on Messines centenary. I know the area very well, been there so often, do know the history of the sites and  I visited all sites with the family of course this time too. I'm used of doing these trips and guidances, I'm not unaware, but Thanks again 

 

Edited by Frank Flanders

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Frank Flanders
23 hours ago, jacksdad said:

i guess you have his photo

302426?rendering=thumbnail.jpg

indeed I dit have this photo already.

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Frank Flanders
21 hours ago, jacksdad said:

Jacks commanding officer, killed the same day

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1917 - No known copyright restrictions

Thanks but Capt. Mc Farlane's story was known to me, did have this photo too. Still, nice of you. thx

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jacksdad
1 hour ago, Frank Flanders said:

You're welcome (Nieppe it should be, not Neippe) Map of those trenches you mention would be welcome of course (" Gas Trench - Locality three - Wellington Ave - Taranaki Ave - Otira" . The cemetery information on Jack, as wel as on other NZL like the Hamblyn botrhers I do have (they're on my FB page of remembrance),  I visited their graves before and alsi on Messines centenary. I know the area very well, been there so often, do know to history of the sites and  I visited all sites with the family of course this time too. I'm used of doing these trips and guidances, I'm not unaware, but Thanks again 

 

whats the facebook page?

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Frank Flanders
On 11-7-2017 at 10:10, Frank Flanders said:

Thank you very much, We had a wonderful day yesterday visiting and remembering. 

could you give some source information about  this hand drawn RAP plan?

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Frank Flanders
On 10-7-2017 at 13:01, jacksdad said:

 

His Military file states he was at the 3/NZF Amb with a strained ankle in Apr. that was located in the ecole at Neippe - the location given as B.16.c.7.8.

He then moves to the Divisional rest station run by the 2/NZF Amb at Steenwerk. A location i do not have, but the hand drawn map of the DRS shows it on the Steenwerk -Erquinghem Rd in a farm house complex on the west side of a road, which one i do not know.

he rejoins his battalion on 26/5/17 when they were billeted at Canteen Corner which you may know is near Seule.

the battalion diary states that they were supply work groups constructing the jump off trenches for the Messines offensive.

on the 5th May they moved to Hill 63. must be some where near or in view of Red lodge as there is a lot of talk about shellfire at Red Lodge.

on the night of the 6th they moved off to assembly trenches - via " Gas Trench - Locality three - Wellington Ave - Taranaki Ave - Otira" 

I can supply you a map of those trenches if needed. 

Gas trench ran off the top of hill 63 and the first (of 4 companies) left at 9:30 PM  - Jacks company (appears to be C Coy) they were the second to leave, so maybe 9:40 PM. everyone was assembled by 11:30 PM in front line.

 

I imagine you know that the 3/Rilfes was the first wave and that they advanced from Otira Trench up the centre right. between the NZ Memorial on their right and Messines Ridge Cemetery on their left. to the Brown line (objective).

I can send you a map with the objectives coloured in if needed.

 

War diary (WD) records "Ontario mine sprung at 3.09 AM" 

Zero Hour 3.10 AM

all men had jumped the parapet and vacated Otira by 3.15 AM.

 

by 12 noon there were 21 killed 75 wounded, 35 missing in 3/Rifles.

 

if your taking the family to see his grave.

Jack Street is buried at Wulverghem - Lindenhoek as you know, in the same cemetery, in II G 4 is Tom Hamblyn from from Taranaki his brother William killed on the same day is buried across in V.A.14. you'll see by their numbers 25516 & 25517 that they signed up together.

it would be worth taking them to the NZ Memorial (lists 828 New Zealanders) at Mesines ridge  Cem  on panel 31 is 24 year old Captain D B McFarlane he was the commanding officer who lead James Street's  Coy, in the first wave on the 7/6/17 he was killed at 3:30 AM that morning. It also lists on panel 27 Jim Hamblyn brother of Will & Tom buried at Wulverghem-Lindenhoek. a forth brother Henry was killed at the Somme in Oct 1916, The Hamblyn's lost 4 sons. Directly below Jim Hamblyn on panel 27 is Private Viggo Hansen he signed up with his cousin Carl Hansen who is buried here at Messines Ridge in V.B.12.

You may know that the NZ Memorial is circular because it is the base of a windmill that the New Zealanders first had to capture 2 Machine gun crews firing from the windmill ruins and once captured Captain Addison of NZ Medical Corps used it as an RAP. 

At the entrance to the cemetery on the road is where Brigadier General Charles Brown was killed by shell fire the following day while he spoke to General Andrew Russell commander of the NZD.

 

hope that gives you a bit to work with.

 

Cheers Roger

Hi again, if you could indeed send a map on which 

Gas Trench - Locality three - Wellington Ave - Taranaki Ave - Otira Trench

are mentioned, that would be very welcome. 

Frank

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Frank Flanders
On 10-7-2017 at 13:01, jacksdad said:

He then moves to the Divisional rest station run by the 2/NZF Amb at Steenwerk. A location i do not have, but the hand drawn map of the DRS shows it on the Steenwerk -Erquinghem Rd in a farm house complex on the west side of a road, which one i do not know.

Hello, "Jack", could you please send me the map the indicates the location of 2/NZF Ambulance at Steenwerk? On The actual roadmaps there are number of roads from Steenwerk in the direction of Erquinghem (though not straight to the latter town). The area is cut by the A25 as well. Thanks if you can. Frank

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