Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Polygon Wood Nov 1914


Graham K

Recommended Posts

Hi - can anyone help with finding a trench map for Polygon wood during Oct/Nov 1914? My great-grand father (James Birch 6627) died there on the 14/11/14. He was in D Company of the 1st Bn Kings (Liverpool) Reg. From hand drawn sketches I have seen in Capt Millers war diaries I have managed to identify that he was defending the wood near Black Watch corner. However I am keen to know if there are any official trench maps for this period/area.

65631F45-32CA-4FAA-B908-8AB81B1F6FD8.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Simon

 

Thanks for responding so quickly

 

Any Info you may have will be most appreciated

 

Regards

 

Graham

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

1/King's was in trenches on the southern edge of Polygon Wood, east of Black Watch Corner. Attached is an aerial picture of the area (aerial picture undated but from the period late 1914/early 1915).

 

Jan

polygon.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks Jan,  I've managed to overlay the photo over a Google image of today's Polygon Wood. This is really helping me 'paint the picture' of what happened to our Great-Grandfather

 

Thanks Again

 

Graham

 

Polygon Wood 2020 Google v 1914 Trench Positions Photo.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Hi Graham, I have no trench map for you but reading this may give you some more ideas as to where your Great Grandfather was fighting. Regards, Bob. http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/library/infantry-histories/library/The-History-ofThe-Kings-Regiment-Liverpool-1914-1919-Volume-I/files/assets/basic-html/page95.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Bob, I'll give it a read for sure

 

Many thanks

 

Graham

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 04/05/2020 at 08:26, AOK4 said:

Hello,

 

1/King's was in trenches on the southern edge of Polygon Wood, east of Black Watch Corner. Attached is an aerial picture of the area (aerial picture undated but from the period late 1914/early 1915).

 

Jan

polygon.jpg

 

Hi AOK4, that's an excellent picture, very evocative. Have you discovered any pictures of the eastern front of Polygon, where 2/Wilts were overrun on 24th October (Reutel)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the above, particularly the overlay, the dizzy heights of computer mastery have thus far evaded me.

Personally I'd love to see similar showing Oct '17 in particular where the 22nd Manchesters set off from on the 4/10/17.

Well done.

 

Simon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Old Forge said:

 

Hi AOK4, that's an excellent picture, very evocative. Have you discovered any pictures of the eastern front of Polygon, where 2/Wilts were overrun on 24th October (Reutel)?

 

I have pics of that area as well, but not as good. An aerial picture from 1914/15 showing Becelaere looking towards Polygon Wood is shown in my book "Defending the Ypres Front 1914-1918". Unfortunately the area of Reutel is not very clear.

 

My main interest is the Polderhoek Chateau area (as it's where my grandparents lived from the 1930s until 1996 and that's where I spent a lot of time as well in my young years).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, AOK4 said:

 

I have pics of that area as well, but not as good. An aerial picture from 1914/15 showing Becelaere looking towards Polygon Wood is shown in my book "Defending the Ypres Front 1914-1918". Unfortunately the area of Reutel is not very clear.

 

My main interest is the Polderhoek Chateau area (as it's where my grandparents lived from the 1930s until 1996 and that's where I spent a lot of time as well in my young years).

 

Many thanks Jan, The area around Polderhoek and north to Reutelbois is beautiful. I was there last November in glorious weather - it was very peaceful.

 

I've seen the aerial photo looking west across Becelaere in your excellent book. As you say, it's difficult to see what's going on in the critical area beyond Becelaere.

 

In October 1914, 2/RSF were defending Poezelhoek (on immediate right of 2/Wilts). The junction between the two battalions was south of the Reutel-Becelaere road, as 2/Wilts had 2 platoons south of the hamlet. On 21 October, D Coy 2/RSF was forced out of its trenches on the battalion's right into the grounds of the Chateau, which was heavily shelled all day. On the 24th, when the Germans rolled up 2/Wilts and broke into Polygon Wood, 2/RSF took up a line along the Reutelbeek, facing north to Polygon 'between the Chateau and Gardener's Cottage'. They moved south of the Menin Road on 26th October, when 2 Div took over the line from Gheluvelt northwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Old Forge said:

 

Many thanks Jan, The area around Polderhoek and north to Reutelbois is beautiful. I was there last November in glorious weather - it was very peaceful.

 

I've seen the aerial photo looking west across Becelaere in your excellent book. As you say, it's difficult to see what's going on in the critical area beyond Becelaere.

 

In October 1914, 2/RSF were defending Poezelhoek (on immediate right of 2/Wilts). The junction between the two battalions was south of the Reutel-Becelaere road, as 2/Wilts had 2 platoons south of the hamlet. On 21 October, D Coy 2/RSF was forced out of its trenches on the battalion's right into the grounds of the Chateau, which was heavily shelled all day. On the 24th, when the Germans rolled up 2/Wilts and broke into Polygon Wood, 2/RSF took up a line along the Reutelbeek, facing north to Polygon 'between the Chateau and Gardener's Cottage'. They moved south of the Menin Road on 26th October, when 2 Div took over the line from Gheluvelt northwards.

 

I know the history very well. I even have a relic RSF badge (minus the flame) which was found exactly where the unit had fought on 21 October 1914.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, AOK4 said:

 

I know the history very well. I even have a relic RSF badge (minus the flame) which was found exactly where the unit had fought on 21 October 1914.

 

Hi Jan, apologies, I was getting a bit carried away! Relics of 1914 must be very rare, given the subsequent devastation.

All the best,

Richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Hi Graham, I have had no luck so far. However it might be worth a try at looking at other regiments who were fighting alongside the 1st Kings. Namely 1st Royal Berkshire regiment. Or 2nd South Staffs or 1st Kings Royal Rifle Corps. All of these being the 6th Brigade, 2nd Corps. The brigade diary may show a map? These diaries from the National archives are free at the moment. Regards, Bob.

Edited by Bob Davies
to add a bit
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Graham,

Have been trawling war diaries on a similar mission as yourself; my g-grandfather came a cropper in the 3rd Coldstreams' trench in front of Reutel on 13 November. This map [excerpt] is from the 2nd Division HQ war diary & shows dispositions on 14 November:

14.11-dispositions.jpg.80d89ff23b21b046441ce033c9b794ec.jpg

 

 

Edited by grantmal
Link to comment
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...