Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Does Bodmin Copse still exist as a copse ?


charlesa
 Share

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon all,

I have a friend of mine whose Great Uncle was killed on 21st September 1917 at Bodmin Copse whilst fighting with the 8th Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment. Does the copse still exist ? I am thinking it is to the south of the Menin Road not all that far from Sanctuary Wood.

My friend has never been to the Ypres Salient but, once things hopefully normalise at some point next year, he would like to visit this location.

Many thanks for any pointers,

Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Bodmin Copse is largely unchanged you can easily get close to it as it’s on farmland and very quiet location.  It is as you say just just off the main Menin road. The road to Sanctuary wood comes to a dead end at the Canadian Memorial although you can get a good view over the scene from there.

 

Shrewsbury forest where a lot of the fighting was is still also largely intact and does have quite a few pill boxes and gun emplacements.

 

My Great Grandfather died there on 31st July 1917 on the first day of the 3rd battle so I have walked the land around it as part of my research.

 

I hope this helps and am happy to help further if I can.

 

David Street

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you put the term Bodmin into tMapper you can see how it looks today:

image.png.c86d5f1381da96b877199cc35b3031cb.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for this Davis and WhiteStarLine, I am passing these posts on to my friend now.

Best wishes

Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Hi Charles

When I was doing some research into the history of the house I acquired last year, I discovered on the old trench maps that it is located at the edge of Bodmin Copse. This is also how I came across your post. 

It is the house you can see on the picture that WhiteStarLine posted. We also own a part of Bodmin Copse. 

If travel gets easier from the UK to Belgium, you and your friend are most welcome to pay a visit to this place and grab a cup of coffee or tea at our house.

If I can help you with anything else, just let me know.

Kind regards

Alexander

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a couple of corrective points, if I may.

The Hampshire Regiment did not acquire the prefix ‘Royal’ until after WW2.
&
In September 1917, the 8th Battalion (the Isle of Wight Rifles) were in Palestine.

So, if you are able to post the name of the casualty, there are a few on here who may be able to help with more accurate information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, caulkheader said:

Just a couple of corrective points, if I may.

The Hampshire Regiment did not acquire the prefix ‘Royal’ until after WW2.
&
In September 1917, the 8th Battalion (the Isle of Wight Rifles) were in Palestine.

So, if you are able to post the name of the casualty, there are a few on here who may be able to help with more accurate information.

Unfortunately the OP, although a member since 2005, seems to be an intermittent attender, and has not been seen since April, so might not see this. My guess is that he's got the battalion wrong, but I'm not minded to look it up unless I know it's worthwhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just noticed we're only a few days short of the anniversary of this officer's death, so thought it might be a fitting time to add a few notes about him, and show his likeness.

Richard Headley Montagu was commissioned 2-Lieut. in 8th Hampshires, 14th December 1914, became Acting Lieutenant from 3rd April 1915 and was promoted Lieutenant 5th July 1916. He was with 2/8th Battalion stationed on the Isle of Wight until it was broken up in the summer of 1916, after which I think he went to one of the new Reserve battalions of the Hampshire Regiment which were formed from various second and third line units. This photograph was taken at Romsey in 1916:

2014437881_MONTAGURH1916.jpg.8fd12cdca1d33f02d317e38eb0903302.jpg

He was indeed serving with 15th Battalion when killed in action, just a couple of months after going to France.

Although he doesn't seem to have had much of a connection to the Isle of Wight before being commissioned in the local Territorial unit there, the Isle of Wight County Press did run the following obituary (6th October, 1917):

"Regret is felt at the death of Lieut. Richard H. Montagu, Hampshire Regiment, who was killed while gallantly leading his men in the advance on September 21, five days after his 35th birthday. Lieut. Montagu was stationed in Sandown for some time, and his courteous, kindly work as mess president, under Col. Willoughby Wallace, brought him into touch with many townspeople. He was a most gifted musician, and many recall with pleasure his brilliant work at the pianoforte when the merry band of pierrot officers occupied the stage at the Town-hall. Lieut. Richard H. Montagu was the youngest son of the late Hyman Montagu, F.S.A., and Mrs. Montagu, of 34 Queen's Gardens, W. He entered Rugby with a scholarship, where he was head of his house, and proceeded to Balliol. He passed the final law examination in honours and became a partner in his father's firm, Messrs. Montagu, Mileham and Montagu. Soon after the outbreak of war he joined the Hampshire Regiment, and was gazetted in January 1915, and acted as bombing instructor until last July, when he left for the Front."

Bart

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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...