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German attack at the Mound (Sint Elooi) on 14/2/1915


Cnock
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Hello,

 

Was the Mound on 14/2/1915 defended by 1/Royal Irish Rgt, and what was the attacking German unit (Bavarians?)

 

regards,

 

Cnock

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Yes, deployed from 4.15 pm.  Lots of detail in the war diary WO 95/2266 or here on Ancestry:https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43112_2266_0-00000?backurl=&ssrc=&backlabel=Return#?imageId=43112_2266_0-00303

Enemy - don't know.

 

Max

 

Added - the 27 Div HQ diary has a plethora of accounts of the action from each of the regiments involved.  A quick look shows no specific definition of the enemy although a slow reading may show something.  Others may suggest different sources.

 

Edited by MaxD
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Gentlemen,

thanks for the info!

 

regards,

 

Cnock

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Stephen Westman's SURGEON IN THE KAISER'S ARMY, pages 61-64, describes an intense action against the British in the vicinity of a brickworks.  He doesn't give dates, but the sense is that it's early in 1915.  The allusion to brickworks makes me think of St Eloi.  The engagement was singularly disastrous for his regiment.  Might this be the action being discussed ?

 

Phil

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45 minutes ago, phil andrade said:

Stephen Westman's SURGEON IN THE KAISER'S ARMY, pages 61-64, describes an intense action against the British in the vicinity of a brickworks.  He doesn't give dates, but the sense is that it's early in 1915.  The allusion to brickworks makes me think of St Eloi.  The engagement was singularly disastrous for his regiment.  Might this be the action being discussed ?

 

Phil

 

Hello,

 

1. There were no brickworks in or near St. Eloi.

2. Westman wasn't serving in any of the (Bavarian) units involved.

 

Jan

 

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The 'Mound', mentioned in numerous war diaries and identified on may maps, I was led to believe consisted of left over rubble from a local brickworks.  If there were no brickworks in the vicinity then was the 'Mound' made of?

Rob

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Found this previous topic on the forum

 

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  • 2 years later...

Sadly there is no war diary reference included for this diagram.

 

David 

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On 28/06/2019 at 11:03, AOK4 said:

There were no brickworks in or near St. Eloi.

According to the Regimental History of KB IR 18 page 81 there was a disused one on the south side of St Eloi on the Ypres - Oosttaverne road. The mound was of clay and was deliberately destroyed by an explosion on 14.03.1915.

https://portal.dnb.de/bookviewer/view/1024797902#page/80/mode/2up
 

Charlie

D01D0C8F-05FA-4974-BB99-B56990EA7851.jpeg

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The sketch above indicates a stack of bricks, the line immediate left of the mound (wording visible on original).

Peter

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Hello,

I have indeed to correct myself. I have seen recently a picture showing indeed a stack of bricks near St. Eloi. I have however not heard of a brickworks in that area (pre-war).

Jan

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Hello,

 

the Mound was an artificial hill built with extracted clay from nearby brickworks.

regards,

Cnock

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After reading a bit further, there was apparently brickwork activity until 1913 in Sint-Elooi. Most probably not on an industrial scale as some larger brickworks, so no large buildings and an oven and chimney? Just something to deal with local demand? 

It reminds me of the brickworks between Geluveld and Kruiseik where the Grenadier Guards fought in 1914, of which there is very little known as well.

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31 minutes ago, mebu said:

Perhaps someone would be kind enough to translate the German text above?

Thanks, Peter

In the middle of the month, an event occurred that was significant by the standards of the time. The destruction of the mound of clay at St. Eloi. At the southern exit of the village, close to the road leading from Ypres to Oosttaverne, there used to be a brickyard; a large mound of clay was located there and the English exploited it as one of the few existing elevations for artillery observation. The mound had to be removed by detonating a mine. Three underground tunnels, several hundred metres long, had been driven in weeks of hard dirty work to underneath……

If no-one volunteers https://www.deepl.com/translator is your friend :)

Charlie

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Lehmhügel: hill of clay

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I do find The Mound to be rather enigmatic.

I don't think anyone has come up with concise information on what, or precisely where, it was, despite much conjecture.

Most likely it was at the site of repeated later mine craters, at 2d 20.65. I have never seen a map showing any building or factory here: brickmaking requires large industrial works and kilns, usually with a chimney. If it was only a very small factory, the mound (as shown on the drawing above) is extremely high, from extensive workings, and would need large equipment to pile clay this high. There would also be a large excavated area from which the clay was dug.

If the Germans mined and blew it in early 1915 because the British held it, this when mining was still relatively shallow and this would be a major load to shift completely. Presumably someone has looked at British diaries/maps to check this? 

Someone some time ago said it was a tumulus, although the local archaelogists would have known and recorded this.

For some reason later maps show The Mound simply as a general geographical area, rather than a precise location (as this one spring 1917), marked some distance from the original location.

It is likely that there is some local knowledge in and around St Eloi as to whether there was a brick factory here, maybe with local records. There would also be the remains of bricks and factory waste still to be found there in the soil.

 

Peter

mount.jpg

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7 hours ago, mebu said:

I do find The Mound to be rather enigmatic.

I don't think anyone has come up with concise information on what, or precisely where, it was, despite much conjecture.

Most likely it was at the site of repeated later mine craters, at 2d 20.65. I have never seen a map showing any building or factory here: brickmaking requires large industrial works and kilns, usually with a chimney. If it was only a very small factory, the mound (as shown on the drawing above) is extremely high, from extensive workings, and would need large equipment to pile clay this high. There would also be a large excavated area from which the clay was dug.

If the Germans mined and blew it in early 1915 because the British held it, this when mining was still relatively shallow and this would be a major load to shift completely. Presumably someone has looked at British diaries/maps to check this? 

Someone some time ago said it was a tumulus, although the local archaelogists would have known and recorded this.

For some reason later maps show The Mound simply as a general geographical area, rather than a precise location (as this one spring 1917), marked some distance from the original location.

It is likely that there is some local knowledge in and around St Eloi as to whether there was a brick factory here, maybe with local records. There would also be the remains of bricks and factory waste still to be found there in the soil.

Peter

Peter,

In those days, one didn't need large buildings to make bricks, it could be done in the open as well on a small scale. I know that, after the war, there was a small open air brickworks across the street from the Chateau in Gheluvelt IIRC. And as I've said, I've recently seen a German pic showing a heap of bricks at Sint-Elooi.

Sint-Elooi is also a natural height, it's not that the whole (natural) hill was created with earth from this activity, only a very small artificial hill on the natural hill was excess earth.

Jan

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St. Elooi early 1915. The Mound is situated under the photo.

 

Cnock

F126.jpg

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I thought I would know this but can you indicate North please ?

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Hello Jan, yes I know that there are/were some small brick factories (same as in UK) however what I find surprising is the height of the Mound- seems to be at least the height of the houses and tall trees. For a small scale operation this would require either tall conveying machinery or similar, very difficult by manual labour. From a construction point of view, very odd.

Also odd that the British chose to use the name for the general area of the 45m contour.

You say you have a German pic of the site? Would you be willing to post it?

It's a shame that Eddy's lovely pic doesn't show slightly more to the south.

Peter

 

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