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sheldrake

Where were "The Keep" and "The Grotto" near Hebuterne?

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sheldrake

I am looking for two locations between Hebuterne and Gommecourt called "The Keep" and "The Grotto."  The communication trench Wood Street  passes through or close to these locations. They are mentioned in an account by N Bradbury in late June 1916.  I can find Wood street on the trench maps in the WFA pack , but not the Grotto or the Keep.

 

Any  advice welcome - best of all a trench map extract!. 

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John Milner

Wood Street is in square K10, map 57d NE3 & 4, if look at square K9, The Keep is the group of buildings just below the figure 9.

 

Cannot find The Grotto.

 

Send me a PM with your e-mail address if you need the map.

 

John

Edited by John Milner

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Howard

In this link, there are 4 files that show The Keep in K9, some also show Wood Street. I have not found The Grotto or anything that sounds like it, having looked on French, British and German maps.

 

Howard

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Knotty

Likewise Howard,

I'm starting to think it might be a colloquialism used by the incumbent troops of a feature. The Keep had a number of cellars, I believe, and if joined up they would be similar to what we now refer to as a grotto....just an idea.

 

John

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MaxD

The tourist PR site for Gommecourt http://gommecourt.fr/le-village/presentation-de-gommecourt/ 

refers to La présence de boves (grottes creusées dans les falaises de craie) atteste de la présence humaine dès la préhistoire.(caves dug into the chalk cliffs gives evidence of human pre-history)  Grotte = grotto so a local landmark, doesn't say where it is though as far as I can tell.

 

Rubbish - different Gommecourt!!

 

Max

Edited by MaxD
Amendment

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brianmorris547

In Howard's link map 2 is signed by an Officer of 1/4 Royal Berkshire and dated 18/08/1915, The WD for that Unit 13/08/1915 records that the Cellar Accomodation in the Keep was not sufficient for the whole Battalion. There is no mention of the Grotto. Nothing in the WDs of 145 Infantry Brigade or the 48 Div HQ General Staff. One location on the map is marked RE HQ but again there is no mention of the Grotto in the WD of 48 Div CRE of the Field Company who were in the village, 474 FC (1/1 S/Mid FC). I think Knotty is right.

Brian

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sheldrake

Thank you very much indeed. Looking at the Berkshires map. The Keep has a similar meaning to Redoubt.  A ring of trenches sited for all round defence.    

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Howard

On the large scale map there is a "shrine" and in the same place there is a shine in modern Hebuterne. Could that have been a "grotto" during the war? Yes, I know this is clutching at straws!

 

Howard

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wachtmeester

Thats a great link for trench map especially 1:10000.

I am preparing a visit within a couple of weeks to the Somme area, a great help to understand the local area.

Do you also have a link for Gommecourt, Beaumont Hamel and Guillemont and Quincy trenchmaps?

 

Best regards,

Wachtmeester

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Howard
20 minutes ago, wachtmeester said:

Thats a great link for trench map especially 1:10000.

I am preparing a visit within a couple of weeks to the Somme area, a great help to understand the local area.

Do you also have a link for Gommecourt, Beaumont Hamel and Guillemont and Quincy trenchmaps?

 

Best regards,

Wachtmeester

I do indeed but it may be qucker if you have a look at McMaster's collection here.

 

If you get into trouble, just PM me.

 

Howard

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wachtmeester

Thank you !

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jay dubaya

I suppose it's the time of year for Grotto's but of a different kind, the kind we're talking about here are natural caves or caverns often extended in chalk deposits and if you like being in the ground I highly recommend a trip to Naours, certainly it appears Hebuterne had 2 large Grotto's and probably still has judging by the amount of chambers noted. I have researched a number of 12th Y&L men over the years who fell victim on the 1st July, I cannot recall the term 'Grotto' appearing but the following was extracted from the brigade WDs in the build up to that day and may be of interest here, I suspect the term 'The Grotto' referred to in the OP was a colloquialism for these caves that the men passed through on their journey up and down the line. Hope it may be of use on your journey.

 

J

 

43112_2359_0-00369.jpg.8176a874ef50bf38384a63011b35f4a4.jpg

43112_2359_0-00370.jpg.5c77ab854957971f705fc1d1f55622d2.jpg

43112_2359_0-00371.jpg.a65deeda1a7d4913af2fb5f26f3b3b24.jpg

43112_2359_0-00372.jpg.2ff578d9ac0bba1f9b25b99f5f5a6999.jpg

 

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brianmorris547

Sheldrake

Further to post 6 

In the WD of 475 FC (RE 48 Div - 1/2 South Midland) 

01/10/1915 work started on a new Keep, Junction Keep, on the Sailly - Fonquevillars (sic) road.

01/11/1915 work on the Southern Keep and Northern Keep at Fonquevillars. 

In the WD of 477 FC (RE 48 Div - 2/1 South Midland)

25 - 31/01/1916 work on eight OPs for the RA showing map references and names.

03/04/1915 construction of Keeps at the Trossachs again showing map references.

The Keeps for 477 FC are south of Hebuterne so the Northern, Southern and Junction Keeps in the WD of 475 FC are probably the ones you want.  

This is from the IGN 1:25 000 Acheux - En - Amienois (2407 O). Some of the local names may offer a clue.

Brian

001.JPG

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sheldrake

Thank you very much indeed. I found "the Grotto" in Gerald Gliddon. 

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jay dubaya

Does he give any indication as to what or where ‘the grotto’ is?

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jnickwilliams

The book " Somme 1916 - a Battlefield Companion" by Gerald Gladden has some information under 'Hebuterne' on both the Keep in the NW part of the village and the Grotto. It states that "The 'Keep' was a popular billet and a 'charming spot' among trees and orchards." "The Keep at the rear of Hebuterne  was a system of trenches protected by barbed wire and commanded the flanks, front and rear. It was a tactical reserve place." Also, the 1/12th Londons had 3 Companies in the Keep in June 1916, which gives an idea of scale.

As for the Grotto, "One of the billets in the village  was a long tunnel-like cellar that ran under farm buildings and was called 'The Grotto'."

 

Hope this is of interest.

Nick

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jay dubaya

Thanks for that Nick, looks like Knotty hit the nail on the head

 

J

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stiletto_33853

The Keep, Centre bottom, 1/7th Middlesex were there.

 

Andy

DSC09761 copy.jpg

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