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BIFFO

Canal bank Ypres

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BIFFO

I have read a few welsh WD, at the moment 15th batt Welsh reg,in most of the WD there is a mention of "Canal bank"

is this by hedge row trench/DCLI or ?,

:poppy:

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mebu

Canal Bank is the canal to the north of Ypres, where Essex Farm cemy is now. The 38th Div, which included 15th Welsh, were there for quite a while, early 1917.  There were many HQs and aid posts dug into the west bank of the canal.

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keithfazzani

Somewhere in a past copy of Stand To there is an excellent drawing of a WW1 bridge across the canal there compared with a modern photograph will see if I can dig it out.

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Aurel Sercu

Keith,

Your reply ... A drawing ...  I have dozens of photos of the Yser Canal in Boezinge, some of them with bridges. Bridge 4 was well known (a solid one; near Essex Farm Cem., bridge supported by a boat, which was there before the war ...)

But a drawing ? I hope you find it. I have two with a drawing, but actually it is not the canal + bridge, but Essex Farm Cem. + the McCrae bunkers, the crossroads, with the canal a little visible in the distance. At the time (Ypres III) that was the 51st Division. The 38the Div was just north of it, almost up north to the Boezinge railroad bridge.

And if you think you can dig it out, I hope it doesn't take too much of your time.  :-)

 

Aurel

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jay dubaya

I have some map extracts from 113th and 115th Inf Bdes WDs showing Bde HQ on the Canal Bank and also a sketch plan from 55th Div HQ WD of the dugouts here

 

J

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BIFFO
Posted (edited)

Thank you all for your help

Havent heard from you Aurel fpr a long time.

I know bridge number 4 was one bridge,how did the 38th get across the canal,I have seen photos where little water ,how did the 38th get across to Caesars nose ?

what was the canal by hedgerow trench,taken there a few years ago by a guide 

now is that where the bluff is??

Edited by BIFFO

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Aurel Sercu

Biffo,

 

North of the Bridge 4 (= near Essex Farm) there were a dozen small infantry bridges, up to Boezinge, and even farther norh, also from where the French attacked (31 July 1917).

 

I have read some regimental histories where it was clear that there was confustion between the canal north of Ypres (to the Yser, first the village of Boezinge, then the hamlet of Steenstrate, then the village of Noordschote, then the Yser at the Knocke), and the canal southeast of Yprers, the Ypres-Comines canal, to the Lys. This canal however was never completed, as the banks had collapsed already before the war.

 

Aurel

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keithfazzani

Here it is

 

image.png.5122e3de32b96f31c8da2c6e1d33b75d.png

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Aurel Sercu

Thanks Keith,

Interesting ! A photo (drawing) I had never seen before. Indeed, Bridge 4, but unlike all other photos I know this photo + drawingis  from the east bank. In the background of the photo the house (post-war) where before the war there was a café (St. Pieter), and during the war the dressing station, next to Essex Farm Cemetery.

The photo below, taken from the west bank, shows that at the end of the war next to the bridge an earth road was laid (a dam, in fact).

 

Aurel

 

Boezinge kanaal brug 02.jpg

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clive_hughes

Without hopefully straying too far from the topic, can anyone say where Bridge 6D was?  One of my Anglesey casualties was killed near it in Feb. 1916.

 

Clive

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Aurel Sercu

Clive,

The bridges north of Bridge 4 were : 4A, 5, 6, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6X, 6Y, 6D, 6E, 6F, 7Y, 7Z, 7. (Not easy to remember the correct order !  :-) )

For Biffo : where the RWF (1917)  were must have been from approx. 6 (= near present Bard Cottage Farm) to 7.

 

Clive, your bridge 6D was 1,550 meters north of Bridge 4. It was in a mild bend of the canal, to be more exact, where now the Bargiestraat is, which is the street leading to Yorkshire Trench & Dug-out.

 

I must have a map somewhere.

Aurel

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Aurel Sercu

Here it is.

Aurel

CANAL MAP 1915 marked.jpg

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BIFFO

thank you chaps :poppy:

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clive_hughes

Thank you once again Aurel,

He was coming forwards from his battalion HQ trying to get to the front lines, which were under attack.  He got as far as 6D but the bridge was being heavily shelled and he took cover in a dugout.  This received a direct hit and was demolished.  He was recovered later and buried Poperinghe New Military Cemetery.  

 

Clive

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