Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Help with Finding a 1918 French Map Reference near Dormans

Recommended Posts


I’m asking for help in articulating where a French Map Reference is – associated with a hunt for an Airman with No Known Grave. Any help would be hugely appreciated.

So, does anyone have a French WW1 Map that can illustrate where this Map Reference is, please?


DORMANS 1/20000

259.0 x 198.9


It is very likely to be south of Dormans, for in addition to the Map Reference, you can see the entry also notes under it the place name of ‘Courtiésy,’ which has to be the village of Courthiézy, 4km south-west of Dormans. I need to see it on a WW1 map, though, if possible.


Thank you for any help.


Trevor Henshaw

Link to post
Share on other sites

What we really need to find for these cases is the main 1/40000 76SW (see here). I will send a message now to Alain Dubois Choulik from Valenciennes, a member of the CEFSG but I don't see him on the GWF. It was Alain that helped me sort out the degrees and gons for the trench maps (see here). I am sure if someone in France has access to this map it will be Alain.


The closest I have come to finding the Dormans map is in the United States National Archives - Cartographic Records of the American Expeditionary Forces 1917-1921. It would appear that they do have these maps.


889435007_Dormans1-20000USA.jpg.e098219f27c736cb67f832e82363e3c6.jpg 1787695400_Dormans1-20000USA-2.jpg.fa069b02826abcd5dce39fc8538d1ec4.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites



Okay, we are getting somewhere with Alain's help, but this will need some more work. Hope you did well in your French classes in high school!

Apparently there is "Tanker" on the French Forum, who has much more detail,  but he does not appear under that name on the GWF as Alain might have suggested.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news, I got it to work! Key items for me: (Google Chrome)

  1. when  you get to the map page, and your French is 50 year old high school french, right click on the page and select "translate"





  2. NB: follow the instructions on this page to enable the use of Adobe Flash in Google Chrome:


  3. on the page that we opened in Step 1, click on the "Access the site" in the blue box on the right side of the page. If you want to stay in "english" then you probably have to click on the translate button on each page you open. You are now here:

  4. Click on the image of the map where it says "1 picture" at the bottom. That will take you to the map page where you can change the size and all other wonderful things. From Trevor's first post we know that we want Dormans 259.0 x 198.9. The 250 numbers are the ones on the "Y" axis and the 190 numbers on the "X" axis. They don't always show the three (3) digits.  In this case, we are on the left border of the map, where you will see the 198 and 199 lines that run parallel but are on an angle. If I did it correctly, the red-yellow star is where the remains were recovered.





I have noticed a number of the errors with the maps and reported coordinates. Once I resolved all these locations (see here) it was obvious that there are two sets of errors, often occurring together:


  1. The map NAMES are mixed up routinely and so it may say Berry-au-Bac when the map is Jonchery-sur-Vesle.
  2. The X and Y axis are often reversed. We normally use X then Y but perhaps the French use Y then X, but either way it has to be consistent and it is not.


The details are provided in the link noted as (see here).

Edited by laughton
corrected labels on map
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 22/02/2020 at 07:22, laughton said:

NB: follow the instructions on this page to enable the use of Adobe Flash in Google Chrome:



Just as we get these working, Google Chrome announces it will end the ability to run ADOBE FLASH on GOOGLE CHROME in December 2020. The reasons why and the alternatives are detailed here:


Saying goodbye to Flash in Chrome


If you need to use the French maps, the next few months is the time to get working on those projects. I just tried to connect now and got and Chrome blocked access as there is an error with their site - said to check back later.


I do not know what the French archives have planned. Someone with a better command of the French language can perhaps check on our behalf?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...