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hmsk212

Map References Cambrai Area

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hmsk212

Hi

 

I have recently been looking at the death of Lt G O MacKenzie of 56 Squadron who was killed in action on 27th September 1918 probably by the German Ace, Paul Baumer. He has no known grave and is remembered at the Arras Flying Memorial. Whilst looking at his RAF Casualty Form it made reference to him being buried next to his machine and  a rough cross being constructed out of parts of the machine. As I am a complete div as far as trench maps go can anyone give me an idea of how accurate the coordinates given would have been ie within a few yards, within 100 yards or within a mile etc. Also can you give me a clue as to the actual location of his burial before this body was lost. Many Thanks  Steve

 

678419827_LtGOMacKenzieCasualtyCard2.jpg.cac6520d0ffa1f537b669a8d6d48893b.jpg

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WhiteStarLine

Hi Steve,

 

I think you will find he was found at the spot with the black circle and red fill, which would place the wreckage at 

50.125057 3.151687

 

The red dot implies a higher precision than it should.  The persons recording it would have notated plus or minus 25 yards in the x and y direction, so an area of 2,500 square yards.

image.png.4c1db176393f41f57c258ee87b56191d.png

This is around 8 kilometres SW of Cambrai so all tallies.

image.png.cefd3880918b52177a4b35131d364be3.png

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WhiteStarLine

And here is a closer view of the site, courtesy of tMapper:

image.png.aad6e5786a672bb0f429f8e5a66a845d.png

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hmsk212
Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

Many thanks that is excellent information, much appreciated, such a shame that his body was lost by the time the War ended just 6 weeks later.  Looking at the RAF Story Vault files it seems that he may have been buried by the men of  no 9 Battery Royal Field Artillery.

 

Steve

Edited by hmsk212

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MaxD

9 Battery was one of 41 Brigade RFA's batteries.  On 27 September the battery occupied a position recorded as "half a mile NW of Flesquieres" - about 2000 yds to the west of the crash location. 

On the morning of 28 September the guns moved again and  "9 Battery had a section half a mile west of Premy Chapel".  Premy Chapel is in square L 15b.

 

The battery position would have been in L15c where the crash took place.  The battery moved again on the afternoon of 29 September.

 

Wider view of the area at:https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=15&lat=50.1294&lon=3.1584&layers=101465167&right=BingHyb

 

Adds up.

 

Max

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)

I don't wish to sound pedantic, but I read the map co-ordinate as     57c.L.15.c.5.3  not 3.5 (or 30.50).

Square 15.c would be 500 x 500 yds square, so square 5.3 would be 50 x 50 yds.

And it would be about 100yds south and east of the point previously highlighted.

5_3.jpg

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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WhiteStarLine

Oh dear, oh dear!  

On 20/02/2019 at 02:51, EDWARD1 said:

I don't wish to sound pedantic, but I read the map co-ordinate as     57c.L.15.c.5.3  not 3.5 (or 30.50)

 

You my friend are exactly correct.  In my haste I blended the 3 with the 5 of 57c and plotted 3.5, not 5.3.  Thanks heavens for proof-readers (not pedants!).

 

Bill

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hmsk212

Hi,

 

Many thanks for the additional information.

 

Steve

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
10 hours ago, WhiteStarLine said:

You my friend are exactly correct.  In my haste I blended the 3 with the 5 of 57c and plotted 3.5, not 5.3.  Thanks heavens for proof-readers (not pedants!).

No worries Bill.

Yes, I agree that the incorrect & unconventional way the diarist has written the co-ordinate (  L.15.C.5.3.57.c instead  of 57c.L.15.c.5.3)   is only inviting misinterpretation. I guess that's why the British used this convention ([Number or Number and letter]dot[Letter]dot[Number]dot[Letter]dot[Number]dot[Number].

If correctly written, then two numbers separated by a dot can only occur once, and then at the end. In the co-ordinate written in the diary, two numbers separated by a dot occurs twice and it's easy to see  '3.5' in the reference as written.

If an artillery officer had written the co-ordinate incorrectly as above, or misinterpreted it, the consequences could be catastrophic.

 

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Howard
15 hours ago, WhiteStarLine said:

Oh dear, oh dear!  

 

You my friend are exactly correct.  In my haste I blended the 3 with the 5 of 57c and plotted 3.5, not 5.3.  Thanks heavens for proof-readers (not pedants!).

 

Bill

Bill, after all the similar mistakes I have made it is most gratifying to learn that I am not alone!

 

It may be a good idea to restate what I sometimes forget, that a map ref, in ths case to a 50 yard square, refers to its bottom left hand point not the centre.

 

Howard

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Marian2

I was baffled by the map reference; I'd never come across the sheet number written after the other info.  And unfamiliarity with the hand had me reading 5Y.c.  W.E.  instead of 57.c.1455729753_57c.L15c5.3.jpg.7cdf717c846396c47e8ccd81ecc676db.jpg N.E.  So I'm grateful to the forum members who are experienced enough to read the reference.

 

In case it's of interest, here's a snippet of a Sheet 57c NE from 1918 with a small x marking what I believe is the location of the grave.  It's snipped from the map titled "[Queant] 57c.NE, Enemy Organisation 20-8-18" (arbitrarily selected) from the McMaster University Library map collection: http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A4300/-/collection

 

---Marian 

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