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Remembered Today:

Hargicourt Trench (4th ELR)


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Hi everyone, I have just had a fantastic last hour reading through Officer reports from when they were captured on 21/03/1918 at Hargicourt whilst serving with the 4th Battalion East Lancashire Rgt. My Gt Uncle was killed in action on this day whilst serving with this Battalion. He was in C Company under the command of Captain MB Bolton and apparently C Company put up a stand in Hargicourt Trench. Can any of you Linesman owners point me in the right direction as to where Hargicourt Trench is? Any help would be much appreciated! Hopefully my brother and I will be then able to pay our respects later in the year. Thanks in advance, Pete.

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Hi Pete,


Hargicourt trench is shown here, running north / south just west of the church.  Image from National Library of Scotland (https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=16&lat=49.9635&lon=3.1680&layers=101465290&b=2)




To pay your respects, you could start roughly in the middle and drive up and down the 2 roads.  If you have more detail in what you have been reading, then this may narrow down the exact point.  Image from tmapper (http://www.tmapper.com).



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Dear Pete, My father was in the H trench in 1917 and badly damaged the Cologne Farmhouse from it plus trenches nearby and gained the M.C.   I think you will find the book Riqueval (Hindenburg Line) by K.W. Mitchinson very useful. He has quite a section on Hargicourt.  Good luck. Your  Rob Lloyd

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  • 4 years later...
  • Admin

Welcome to the forum. @Quadeyis still visiting the forum l my tag should alert them to your post. 

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Hargicourt Trench is now findable on TrenchMapper. Use the Advanced Search with just the word Hargicourt. Then you can change maps in the left panel.

If you right click and choose Map ID Jump, use m_84_000967 as the ID to see a map of about the right date.


Name: le Verguier, Hargicourt, Roisel, Driencourt
Sheet: 62C NE [parts of]
Scale: 1:20,000
Edition: Mar 1918
Annotated with unit boundaries and objectives Trenches corrected to 21/02/1918. Printed 1/03/1918
Id: m_84_000967
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On 04/12/2023 at 23:56, Peter Atkinson said:

Hi Pete, my great grandfather was injured and captured in Hagincourt and later died. I would also be curious to read the officer reports of when they were captured on 21/03/1918. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2912985/h-rushton/


Hi Peter, it is 4 years since this post and we did manage to find what was Hargicourt Trench on that particular visit. As for your Great Grandfather, he was in A Company and on 21st March 1918, the 4th East Lancs Rgt were in the front line area for 198 Brigade immediately to the east of Hargicourt.  The disposition of the battalion was basically in a T shape with D Company on the left of the Battalion frontage and B Company on the right, A Company were in immediate support to them and C Company, which my Great Uncle was in, was in reserve. I have tried to attach the map which is a JPEG file and this shows the dispositions of the 4th East Lancs Rgt on March 21st but I get an error code of 200, so unfortunately I cannot post it.  Should you wish to visit this area by all means message me and I will help you out as best I can and I must recommend  you pay a visit to Lieut. Col. Wrenford's memorial which is in the fields just outside Hargicourt (he was 4th East Lancs Rgt Commanding Officer), as it actually overlooks what was the battlefield on 21st March 1918. It looks like your Gt Grandfather was taken to Limburg an der Lahn PoW camp at some point. Finally, of the repatriated Officer reports, there is only one from an Officer from A Company and that is of 2nd Lt. R. J. Barr, Officer Commanding Number 2 Platoon and he wrote,

"I have the honour to state that I was in charge of No.2 Platoon, “A” Coy, 4th East Lancs Regt and was Support Company.  Two Companies being in the front line immediately in front of the village of Hargicourt and to the left of the small village of Villeret.  The position of my platoon was directly in front of two large, high chalk heaps and covering the gap between two positions in the front line.

I realised about 4am on March 21st that the enemy were about to attack by the number of shells they were sending over, nearly all being Gas shells.  I pulled on my Gas mask and rushed into Company Head Quarters and was told to join my platoon at once.  After that I received no further orders or communication from any Officer of the Battalion.

I got my men all out with Gas masks on and saw everything was ready for the attack when it did come.  In the dense fog with which there appeared to be smoke mixed, I could see nothing and decided there was either none or very little cloud gas coming over.  On that point, I do not care to give a definite answer as I was on high ground and when I gave the order to take the masks off, no one suffered from poisoning. 

Owing to the density of the fog it was impossible to say when the enemy launched their attack but it was shortly after 8am when I heard them signalling to each other by means of whistles.  As my orders were to hold my post to the last at all costs, I tried to extend my men and join up with No.1 Platoon, 100 yards on my right and prevent the enemy passing through but I failed to establish communication with No.1 Platoon.

I was attacked first from the rear about 9a.m. but beat off this by machine gun fire (2 Lewis).  Then we were attacked in the left flank where again we were successful in driving the enemy off.  Subsequently being attacked from the front and in large numbers about 11am.

I was shot at close range through the chest and as the fog had lifted slightly, the enemy had swarmed all around us and my Platoon Sergeant told me we had only four men left. After this, I have no recollection of what happened but regained consciousness about 3pm when a German Doctor put a dressing on me and some British Royal Engineers carried me into a field near Millicourt, where I lay out for five nights being taken by stages into Hospital in Germany, where I arrived 16 days after being wounded".

Hope this is of help to you Peter, take care,


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