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onesearch

Bart's and Guy's Loos Sept 1915

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onesearch

My Grandfather was at Loos with the 6th KOSB & I've just been re looking at an imaage of a trench map for September 1915 showing the positions of the 28th Brigade. On the railway lines behind the front there are two names, Guy's & Bart's. Presumably first aid posts or casualty evacuation points but can anyone confirm this & identify the unit than occupied them please. 

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EDWARD1
Posted (edited)

According to CWGC they are named after Bart`s Alley and Guy`s Alley, communication trenches where dressing stations were established.(see Loos British Cemetery)

Barts Alley ran 36cNW3 G4, 8,9,&10 and Guys 36cNW1 A27c, 36cNW3 G3b.

After checking trench maps I think G3b should be G3a as I cant see Guys in 3b)

Eddie

Edited by EDWARD1

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battle of loos
Posted (edited)

good morning,

 

if you wish, I can take pictures of Loos because I live there.

 

here is a title found not far from the dud corner (position of the 7th KOSB) :

 

king_o12.jpg

 

it is possible to show us the map you are referring to of these two positions.

 

thanks in advance

 

Kind regards

 

michel

Edited by battle of loos

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TEW

I may be able to find more on Barts and Guys. Have just checked 27th Field Ambulance diary (9th Div) and they ran a dressing station in Cambrin 25/9/15.

Early in the month they mention having advanced posts at Guys.

17/9/15 they refer to Guys as a Dressing Station.

21/9/15 RMOs were positioned in the dugout at Guys but were ordered to vacate.

25/9/15 Lt. Hancock & bearers had an enormous amount of work to do at Guys.

 

Not entirely sure if from above if Guys was a dressing station 25/9/15 or an evacuation/collecting station to move men to the dressing station in Cambrin.

 

Nothing in 9th Div field ambulances that mention Barts.

 

I did notice though that there seems to have been a few dugouts at Guys for various HQs, so not exclusively for medical use.

TEW

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brianmorris547

This image is from 36 C NW Loos which I bought at the bookshop at TNA.

It shows Barts on the railway line in G 3 c north east of Vermelles.

Brian

001.JPG

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onesearch

Thank you for your replies. The map I first saw was on the 1914/1918 Battlefield Maps site http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/loos_maps.htm

The map is about the third one down and shows the 9th Divisions positions. It shows both Guy's and Bart's.

 

TEW, you referred to the 9th Division and 27th Field Ambulance, do you know if any medical records survive, or perhaps a list of casualties they treated over the period of the Battle.

Many thanks

Rod

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TEW

Rod, All I've seen in the diaries are totals for numbers wounded, IE daily admissions to field ambulances and/or casualty clearing stations.

At the time all medical units kept admission books but these were destroyed in the 70s with the exception of a 5% sample. Find my past or Forces War Records have these online but 9th Div. field ambulances books do not survive.

TEW

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battle of loos

good mornig,

 

thank's a lot for the map.

 

regards

 

michel

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onesearch

TEW, thank you for your reply about what records have survived from the time. On learning this my initial reaction was one of surprise that records survived into the 1970's before being destroyed. I wonder what caused them to take such a decision? Anyhow, at least I know now, and it closes off one avenue that I was wondering about venturing down. Many thanks

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johnboy

If  you can give his name, where from. and rough dob It may help to see if he is on a casualty list or in newspaper lists. Did he survive?

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onesearch

Johnboy,  thank you for your offer.  I had a look around some years back to see what could be found and so I was looking at things from a more general point of view at the moment, wondering which route the majority of the casualties from the 6th KOSB might have gone down down. The map with Guy's and Bart's seemed to give a good starting point. As his records were part of those lost in the bombing in the 1940's I wondered if I might look into it from a different angle, not specifically his history but perhaps get an idea of how the battalion wounded were treated/ evacuated, numbers admitted to where etc. 

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johnboy

Sorry, can't try and help ,then

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onesearch

With Guy's (and Bart's) being so close to the railway line they both seem to have had the possibiility of acting as evacuation routes for those more seriously wounded and headed for a base hospital while those less severe cases could, in the case of Guy's, be sent to Cambrin. 

 

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EDWARD1

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onesearch

Thanks for putting that on Eddie, much appreciated.

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TEW

The decision to get rid of the admission/discharge books held by the Ministry of Pensions was based on the understanding that they just weren't needed anymore. in 1975 275 tons of documents were destroyed in what has been termed 'The Great Pulping'. A 5% sample was retained and forms the MH106 series at TNA.

 

Something that has been bugging me is shown on the following map extracts, the top one is 1915 and the bottom one 1917.

It appears the two maps use a different grid origin which baffles me at present.

TEW

 

loos.jpg.588e4db61f1e22f1e6ef349ccfa1534b.jpg

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onesearch

I suppose I can understand it from one point of view, 275 tons of redundant paperwork  would have taken up a tremendous amount of archiving facility. Mind boggling quantities. 

 

  Other than the allignment issues the 1917 map seems to omit the embankment to the rail line running through 3,  and it does not show the lane/road to the easterly side of it. Although they are from different times do you know the source of each one?. Is it possible one was originally wrong and corrected on the later versiom? Is it possible to look at the adjoining maps (i.e. NSE or W) from the same times to see if they show the same effect/changes?

Rod

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TEW

They are at different scales which might account for some of the discrepancies but the lack of road is odd. Both are 'official' maps, now with the Macmaster Collection.

The odd thing about sheet 36c is that it's also sheet 44a!

NB the map ref for Barts in 1915 would be G.3.c.6.6 whereas in 1917 it would be G.3.c.8.0.

I have seen posts that query coordinates from sheets 44a & 36c which assume a position would have the same coordinates on both maps, clearly not the case here.

I may post up a new topic on this.

TEW

 

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onesearch

If you do start a new thread about the differences between the two I would be interested to see what turns up in the way of an explanation. The scale may be slightly different but to me one still looks to be displaced horizontally compared to the other.

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WhiteStarLine
1 hour ago, onesearch said:

one still looks to be displaced horizontally compared to the other

 

Map making advanced tremendously from 1915 to 1917 and the highly accurate 1914 Belgian data was able to be used in Belgium with little modification but the "French indifference to figure" cited by Winterbotham in "Survey on the Western Front" of 1918 had numerous remarks such as:

  • "Their survey value varies much from place to place.  Some have been found exceedingly accurate whilst others show considerable errors."
  • "It has been found on the average that about 5% of the geographical coordinates supplied from Paris have been wrongly copied. ... Unfortunately one such case occurred at the Southern end of our line and caused an error of about 150 yards."

The 36 SW map was one of the first selected for re-survey.  Around August 1915 experienced draughtsmen began plotting from air photographs while on the ground, a Topographical Survey of 1:20,000 commenced behind the British front line.  For example, church spires were plotted as 1st order points (ie high accuracy known locations).

 

Winterbotham credits October 1915 as the "first good compilation map".  The cadastral plans (1:2500) of the Somme department were copied at Amiens and were then compiled on a trigonometrical framework.  Air photographs were now available in considerable numbers and were used for the mapping new detail and trenches.  Around this time it was noticed that the same fixed points appeared on different air photos and by 1917 wide angle photographs became a technique supplemented by ground survey using the newly formed Corps Topographical Sections.  Maps and bearing picket techniques became so accurate, that in 1918, the 100 days commenced with a highly accurate barrage delivered under complete artillery surprise. 

 

So, comparing a 1915 map with a 1917 map will produce variable results, as TEW has ably demonstrated.  It is the same origin, georeferencing and computational technique but will show quite a bit of variation from sheet to sheet.

 

SURVEY ON THE WESTERN FRONT, MAPS (Preliminary Report), General Headquarters, 20 December 1918

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TEW

The 1915 map I referred to is here on McMaster, there are others with the same issue. Trenches corrected to 25/8/1915. In fact I think all the 1915 36c McMaster maps are the same IE different to 1916-1918.

 

The statement

Quote

5% of the geographical coordinates supplied from Paris have been wrongly copied.

 

Does this mean that the geographical coordinates of the map grid and letter squares/sub-squares were the aspects that were wrongly copied?

 

I'm sure if one overlaid the 1915 and 1917 maps that geographical locations would overlay correctly, only the grid/squares would not align.

 

My concern with this is based on having worked on sheet 36c for the Battle of Loos Sept 1915 and I've quoted numerous grid references that only apply if one is armed with the appropriate 1915 map. I note that the Munnin Project map converter will give incorrect positions if using a 1915 map ref.

Thanks for the explanation though.

TEW

 

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WhiteStarLine

 

20 hours ago, TEW said:

geographical coordinates of the map grid and letter squares/sub-squares were the aspects that were wrongly copied?

Hi TEW, no, the map grid was an overlay in yards placed over a metric coordinate reference system (Bonne projection).  They were not copied, but overlayed with a matching centre and a small overlap on each end.  If I change the sentence to read: "the map grid and letter squares/sub-squares were the aspects that were wrongly centred", we have this one covered.  The error would be in local survey point(s) used to align this particular map sheet.

 

Quote

whereas in 1917 it would be G.3.c.8.0

I downloaded the McMaster map you cite and I agree that Barts in 1915 is 36c.G.9.a.6.6 but in 1916 - 1918 I make it 36c.G.9.a.6.8.  Vermelles Church is 36c.G.8.c.8.5 in your 1915 map and 36c.G.8.c.9.3 on a 1918 map.  I lean to an error on this particular map unless it can be shown to be applicable to other 1915 maps.  I baselined the WGS84 latitude / longitude for Bart's in 6 trench maps from June 1916 to September 1918 and it stayed in the identical position for each map. 

 

Quote

 I note that the Munnin Project map converter will give incorrect positions if using a 1915 map ref.

 

No it doesn't, as Rob applies the same Bonne inverse projection (Snyder's formula for the sphere) to any cordinate reference system conversion for the maps he supports, always using the same point of origin in the vicinity of Charleroi.  The formula works for any year - any errors (beyond its stated precision) are likely to be the trench map itself.

 

I don't think we're ready to talk about 1915 references versus later years in general, but this thread has been very interesting to me as it demonstrates practical examples supporting Winterbotham's 1918 description of the many advances in map making techniques.  I've converted the 1915 references (red) and 1918 (blue) and others have suggested, I lean to a mathematical translation.  If correct, this supports the possibility of an incorrectly aligned grid rather than a correctly computed basemap.

 

image.png.4105fe2b2a70584d25ef0176b2943c42.png

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onesearch

Unversed in cartography I am hiving to read and re- read some of the recent posts.  I am finding them very interesting indeed, and I think I will have a better understanding of the reasons for apparrent differences in the end thanks to the discussions and informative explanations provided.

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TEW

Have to agree, lots to digest there but a very full explanation. Glad Whitestarline came across the post. Thanks.

 

Onesearch,

I'll see what I can find for a more complete evacuation regarding your Grandfather. IE routes taken, methods, which CCS, potential ambulance trains and their final destinations.

TEW

 

 

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TEW

Apologies, this became rather longer than anticipated.

 

The following evacuation procedure for an individual of the 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers is based on information taken from the following diaries in TNA series WO95;

27th, 28th, 29th Field Ambulances of 9th Division.

9th Division ADMS. Assistant Director Medical Services.

I Corps DDMS. Deputy Director Medical Services.

1st Army DMS. Director Medical Services.

1 CCS. Casualty Clearing Station.

6 CCS.

9 CCS.

No. 12 AT. Ambulance Train

No. 4 AT.

No. 14 AT.

Rouen Base.

 

That sounds quite extensive but the more diaries one looks through the more discrepancies arise. These are usually things like total numbers of wounded, times of ambulance train moves but there is one (spurious?) entry for ambulance Train No. 10.

 

I also looked through the diaries for 6/KOSB and 28th Infantry Brigade HQ to get an idea of their start position/time and objectives and what happened to them. 28th IB diary has a map showing the objectives for 6/KOSB IE Madagascar Trench and Mad Point at 36c.A.28.c

 

Variables in the evacuation of wounded are;

What type and how serious was the injury.

Where were they wounded. IE geographical location.

When were they collected from the battlefield.

The above would affect where men were evacuated to and how they got there and then as a knock on effect whether they arrived at a CCS in time to be evacuated by a specific AT to be sent on to a specific base.

 

However, for 9th division on 25th Sept into the early hours of the 26th the process seems fairly straightforward other than a note that states that a number of wounded were lying unattended near Fosse 8 late on the 25th Sept. I also note that the enemy had constructed covered trenches with hidden spikes onto which men from 28th Infantry Brigade were falling into.

An Administrative Instruction Order No. 20 dated 24/9/1915 shows the forward medical posts IE the First Aid Posts, Walking Wounded Route, ADS at Guys and another Dressing Station in Cambrin. Not entirely sure of the First Aid Posts are the RAPs (Regimental Aid Posts) as the DDMS says the latter are based at the individual Battalion HQs.

 

28IB_1.jpg.7b265753a4b92508f06bcbe86bdb9eac.jpg

 

The DDMS I Corps (2nd, 7th & 9th divisions) divides the 9th Division area as being either North or South of the Railway Line. Both areas have their battalion RAPs (Regimental Aid Posts) based at Battalion HQ. For the North area relevant to the 28th IB the ADS (Advanced Dressing Station) was in Cambrin, in dugouts south of the church. For the Southern area two ADSs were located at Vermelles, Brewery Cellars and another in Sailly Labourse.

 

Other medical units were originally based at Sailly Labourse & Annequin DCS (Divisional Collecting Station) normally for light injuries and walking wounded. MDS (Main Dressing Stations) were set up by each Field Ambulance at the Ecole Jules Ferry, Bethune, Annequin, Vendin, Ecole Paul Bart, Bethune.

 

NB worth noting that each FA has a tented section and normally two bearer sections, therefore a single FA could be running 2-3 different medical posts. Additionally it appears for 25/9/1915 that some of the field ambulance units were shut down and reopened at a new location later in the day.

 

As a general rule based on the Medical Plans a wounded man from 28th Infantry Brigade would either make his own way back to Guy’s Alley and then onto the DCS or Walking Wounded Station which were set up in Cambrin although the walking wounded were later sent directly to Bethune. The more seriously wounded would be collected by bearers and returned to Guy’s either for treatment there or moved further back using the railway line and trolleys to the ADS based to the south of Cambrin Church. Artillery had precedence over the railway line so use by wounded was sporadic, wheeled stretcher was the alternative.

 

28 Field Ambulance was set up to clear the field of wounded from the 28th IB and remove them to ADS at Vendin. However, they shut down at 4.30pm and re-opened in Bethune at 9.30pm. In the meantime the wounded were cleared back to field ambulances of other divisions.

 

It should be understood that in an offensive of this size things got muddled up and many walking wounded would congregate at an ADS and many seriously wounded ended up at the DCS or Walking Wounded Station, these would have to then be transported to their proper location. 27 Field Ambulance dealt with 2297 wounded ordinary ranks from 6am to midnight, only 896 of these were from 9th division. It stands to reason that a volume of 9th division men were evacuated by other divisions. However, these ‘mis-fits’ would be filtered out and sent on to their correct designations.

 

The idea is to get the seriously wounded back to CCS as soon as possible and to separate those with light wounds for treatment at the DCS and walking wounded station. Those considered to have injuries that needed immediate treatment would be sent to an MDS, each field ambulance ran such a dressing station and these were based in Bethune, Annequin and Vendin.

 

All three field ambulance units were cleared back to CCS by No. 7 MAC (Motor Ambulance Convoy)

 

The CCSs used in the I Corps area (including) 9th Division) were No. 1 CCS at Chocques and Nos. 6 & 9 CCSs at Lillers. The latter were grouped together and operated on a rotation system so that as one was at capacity and shut down the other would then open and ‘take in’. So, if one knew that an individual went to Lilliers unless precise time of arrival was known it would be impossible to say which CCS at Lilliers he was admitted to. However, the ambulance trains served a CCS group and would entrain wounded from both CCSs for removal to a base area.

9am 25th Sept to 9am 26th Sept.

No. 1 CCS admitted 845 wounded

No. 6 CCS admitted 1927 wounded

No. 9. CCS admitted 1121

 

Again, the idea at CCS is to treat the injuries and get the wounded back to base as soon as possible. The first ambulance trains to leave the CCS groups did not do so until the early hours of the 26th.

Improvised passenger AT SA left at 1.00 am 26/9/16 with 1152 wounded for Abbeville.

Improvised passenger AT SB. No data.

12 AT left at 3.45 am. 147 wounded ORs, destination Rouen via Abbeville.

4 AT left at 5 am. 250 wounded, destination Versailles.

14 AT left at 10.15 am. 247 wounded, off loaded 1 dead and 7 dangerously ill at Abbeville, continued to Le Treport. No. 2 Canadian Hospital and No. 3 General Hospital supplied hospital clothing.

TEW

 

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