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Remembered Today:

BOUZINCOURT TUNNELS


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Hello All,

 

This years visits of the Bouzincourt tunnels have been very popular with visitors from all over the world. With funds going into the pot we have used this to open up another 3 chambers and revealed another 200 pieces of graffiti. We have 27 chambers now and many more names have appeared, Australian, Canadian, NZ, English, Scottish (mainly HLI) and many different Divisions and Battalions. The double chamber shows General Rycroft's name proudly inscribed GOC of 32 Division. More artefacts too, tins of all types, boots, the toilet, tools, mess tins, petrol tins, buttons and badges, water bottles spoons and forks.

The last chamber cleared showed 4 Canadian Snipers and 2 Scouts that had written their names on the walls, Alex McRae photo attached was just one of them, his profile (Thanks to Dave O'Mara) attached.

118087 Pte Alexander McCrae

Born: Ontario, Canada, 25th March 1896

Next of Kin: Angus McCrae (father)

Occupation: Steam Fitter

Previous service with 48th Highlanders

Enlisted: 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles - Lethbridge, Alberta, 5th February 1915

Transferred to the Canadian Cavalry Depot at Shorncliffe (UK) 10th Sept 1915

Embarked for France and T/fd. To 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles – 20th December 1915

Served with 3rd Canadian Division throughout the war

 24 March 1916: treated at 142 Fd.Amb. for ‘scalded hand’

BATTLE OF MOUNT SORREL 2nd – 14th June 1916

 Hospital: (Camiers & Wimereaux) June 1916 – contused back (hit by shell shard on 4th June)

 BATTLE OF FLERS-COURCELETTE 15th – 22nd September 1916

 Lightly Wounded 16th September 1916 – remained at duty

BATTLE OF THIEPVAL 26th – 28th September 1916

BATTLE OF LE TRANSLOY 1st – 18th October 1916

BATTLE OF THE ANCRE HEIGHTS 1st October – 11th November 1916

 5th Dec 1916: attached to 8th Inf Bde as a scout

Feb - April 1917: 9 days in 42 CCS, remainder in 39 General Hosp. Le Havre -  being treated for Gonorrhoea (forfeited pay)

1st April 1917: (re) attached to 8th Inf Bde as a scout

The Battle of Vimy 9th -14th April 1917
The Attack on La Coulotte 23rd April 1917
The Third Battle of the Scarpe 3rd -4th May 1917
Operations towards Lens June – August 1917
The Battle of Hill 70 15th – 25th August 1917

The Second Battle of Passchendaele 26th October – 10th November 1917

Hospital: 3 Canadian CCS then UK (Birmingham and Epsom) July – October 1918 (Pleurisy)

Oct- Dec 1918 : Seaford and Kinmel Park

Returned to Canada – January 1919

Discharged – 21st February 1919

 

Contact me direct for a visit, costs depend on group size

daveplatt.dp@google mail.com

Or see Beaumonthamelview.com

Thanks

Dave

P1040867.JPG

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Thats great Dave , we really enjoyed our tour in March well worthwhile,

Tony

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I can highly recommend visiting the tunnels, my visit last  week was a highlight of many, many visits to the region over numerous years.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went with Dave on the 12th November. Have been to the Somme many times, but this has to be one of the highlights for me. Dave is very knowledgeable and has a true passion for the subject. Would highly recommend. Thanks Dave. Will be visiting again.

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  • 1 year later...

fabulous post. Just found out from a new contact in England that my Great Uncle etched his name in the wall of the tunnel 4 days before he was killed.  He and his brother Chester were with the 46th Battalion.  This is a real incentive to revisit the Somme again.  Thanks very much.

Alexander Ernest Sample graffiti bouzencourt.JPG

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Thanks for the post... definitely a place to visit on the next visit to the Somme... 

 

M.

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3 hours ago, Marilyne said:

Thanks for the post... definitely a place to visit on the next visit to the Somme... 

 

M.

Its a must been down twice and different both times,

Tony

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  • 1 year later...
Pie Tries

Hi,

How can I book a tour of the tunnels?

my great uncle is in Bouzincourt cemetery- does anyone know if the Lancashire Fusiliers (Salford Pals) went into the tunnels ?

many thanks

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horrocks
On 20/01/2019 at 16:52, Guest said:

fabulous post. Just found out from a new contact in England that my Great Uncle etched his name in the wall of the tunnel 4 days before he was killed.  He and his brother Chester were with the 46th Battalion.  This is a real incentive to revisit the Somme again.  Thanks very much.

Alexander Ernest Sample graffiti bouzencourt.JPG

 

My goodness, I can't begin to imagine your emotions upon discovering this. Remarkable, and moving.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/07/2020 at 23:28, Pie Tries said:

Hi,

How can I book a tour of the tunnels?

my great uncle is in Bouzincourt cemetery- does anyone know if the Lancashire Fusiliers (Salford Pals) went into the tunnels ?

many thanks

 

Hi

 

Just to let you know that it is not possible to tour the tunnels. This is not due to the current Covid-19 situation, rather it ia a "Health & Safety issue. Until another form of exit can be constructed and permanent lighting is installed visits will not be allowed. Due to the costs involved I cannot see this happening for the foreseeable future.

 A  shame as it was a great experience to visit.

 

John

 

Edited by Frajohn
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Won't be the same as visiting, but UKTVPlay still has the episode of 'Underground Worlds' (Series 1, Episode 5 - Bouzincourt) which was originally on the 'Yesterday' channel  still available  https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/underground-worlds/watch-online/6093314149001 (Sorry John, probably only available in the UK (?), but sounds as if you were lucky enough to have visited before the shutdown)

 

Some of the other episodes still available visited  other Great War & WWII underground locations

 

NigelS

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Hi,

 

Quote

Just to let you know that it is not possible to tour the tunnels. This is not due to the current Covid-19 situation, rather it ia a "Health & Safety issue. Until another form of exit can be constructed and permanent lighting is installed visits will not be allowed. Due to the costs involved I cannot see this happening for the foreseeable future.

 A  shame as it was a great experience to visit

 

Thank you for the info, it's not so surprising: that was just a matter of time... and this is going to happen everywhere: unfortunately I see the same happening at Vauquois in the future (I really hope that I'm wrong). The list of WW1 tunnels and undergrounds closing to the public in the last decade is still increasing...

 

Sly

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1 hour ago, Sly said:

Hi,

 

 

Thank you for the info, it's not so surprising: that was just a matter of time... and this is going to happen everywhere: unfortunately I see the same happening at Vauquois in the future (I really hope that I'm wrong). The list of WW1 tunnels and undergrounds closing to the public in the last decade is still increasing...

 

Sly

Hi Sly hope you are well? What WW1 tunnels are open in the Somme area?

Tony

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Hi Tony,

 

Hope you are well too, to my knowledge only the Naours caves are open in the Somme, it well worth a look if you have never been there: amazing number of graffitis.

I don't know any other "tunnel" or "underground" open in the Somme, but other places nearby can be visited: the Wellington quarry at Arras, the tunnels at Vimy (they have just re-open the visitors centre but I am not too sure if the tunnels are accessible?), there are also some interesting tunnels in Bapaume but they are open only one day a year.

 

Regards,

Sly

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On 31/07/2020 at 06:22, Sly said:

Hi Tony,

 

Hope you are well too, to my knowledge only the Naours caves are open in the Somme, it well worth a look if you have never been there: amazing number of graffitis.

I don't know any other "tunnel" or "underground" open in the Somme, but other places nearby can be visited: the Wellington quarry at Arras, the tunnels at Vimy (they have just re-open the visitors centre but I am not too sure if the tunnels are accessible?), there are also some interesting tunnels in Bapaume but they are open only one day a year.

 

Regards,

Sly

Hi Sly , yes we went to Naours this year and it was great. They closed a couple of days after our visit due to the virus.

Tony

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