Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Where was Admirals Road


Recommended Posts

In 2014 and 2015 my wife and I visited the location where her uncle had died during the 2nd Battle of Ypres. We were taken there on both occasions by a tour guide (Bob Findley). We would like to visit the place that my wifes uncle was killed again, but sadly Bob has passed away and i cannot find Admirals Road on any maps. I have the photographs of where Bob took us to and I know it was just off a crossroads in open countryside. Sorry I can't be any more specific. I also know that Admirals road was renamed  but cannot remember what the current name is. I find references to Admirals Road cemetery but cannot find any record of it?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Admin
Michelle Young

The current name is Moortelweg. It leads NE from Wieltje. 

 

Michelle 

Link to post
Share on other sites
WhiteStarLine

Here it is Colin.

 

image.png.ee3011b66c6b64829b14d8c53239fb51.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Named afer Lt Cyril Aldin SMITH DSO MiD RNVR. He gained an impressive fighting reputation with 6th Div. Known as ‘The Admiral’, he had a road in the battle area named after him – Admiral’s Road, Wieltje. On 10 June 1916 he was missing, assumed killed in action, on a patrol with 9/Norfolk Regt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Admiral's road is marked on this trench map:

https://maps.nls.uk/view/101464897

The cemetery was located at 28.C.15.c.8.7, the green circle om the map extract below.

Approximate coordinates 50.883514229712, 2.9012874551536

There might be more information if you can share the name of the soldier.

 

Luc.
 

460922238_admiralsroad.jpg.5c2e1aab37dc867276881df0b7f5a40c.jpg

 

971636432_admiralsroad1.jpg.8b00dc723fd262b87fca56b87cdd70e7.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks. My wifes uncle, William Joseph Bull of the 1st Somerset Light infantry, was killed on Admirals Road on the 9th May 1915 while rescuing a wounded colleague from no mans land. His body was never recovered and his name appears on the Menin Gate. I have visited the site of his death twice, but on both occasions I was taken there by my guide, Bob Findley. I would like to find the spot again  but unfortunately Bob has passed away.

 

Colin

Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more on the officer who named the road where William Bull fell:-

 

Cyril Aldin SMITH. When the RND withdrew from Belgium, 2/Lt Smith RM, with his 20HP Straker Squire, was one of the motor owner-drivers who remained ‘on the loose’ in the BEF, eventually under the DNTO Boulogne (at least per the Navy List). His operational service is not detailed but he was wounded in France and returned to UK in late July 1915. On 1 August his RM commission was terminated and he transferred to the RNVR as a Sub Lt. In mid-September he was promoted to Lt and seconded to 6th Division, BEF.

 

More on 'The Admiral' from the 6th Div history:-

"A history of the Division would hardly be complete without a short reference to "The Admiral." Many of those who knew and liked him well by that name probably never knew him by any other. Lieut. Smith was an owner driver in charge of a convoy of 'buses with the Royal Naval Division at Antwerp, whence he escaped to France. In October 1914 he seized the opportunity of an officer requiring to be taken up to join his unit, to make his way with his car to the front. Arrived there he contrived to get himself attached to the 6th Division Headquarters, remaining with them until he was reported missing on the 10th June 1916. Consumed with a good healthy hatred of the enemy, and keen to be of assistance in any way that he could, he devoted the greater part of the time he was with the Division to experimenting with bullet-proof shields on wheels to be propelled by manpower, a sort of embryonic tank. His ambition was himself to take the first of these into action. At last he was offered an opportunity of co-operating with a small 3-man pattern in a minor raid near Forward Cottage. What success he might have achieved it is impossible to say, as in his eagerness he preceded the shield by several yards to show the crew the way and was hit in the neck by a splinter from a bomb. The name of Admiral's Road, given to the road past Crossroads Farm and Forward Cottage, commemorates the incident of which it was the scene. Later "The Admiral" turned his attention to Bangalore torpedoes, in the use of which he trained the unauthorised party which had long existed under the name of the 6th Division Shield Party. With them he took part in many raids and minor enterprises, one of which earned him the D.S.O. On the 10th June he was reported missing from a patrol of the 9th Norfolk Regiment, and nothing has since been heard of him. For nearly two years he contrived to serve voluntarily with the Division, nobody quite knows in what capacity or by what authority, and during that time he endeared himself to all by his unfailing good nature and cheeriness, his whole-hearted enthusiasm and his lack of fear."

 

Quite a character.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. The information about it being between Crossroads Farm and Forward Cottage could be most helpful.

 

Colin

Link to post
Share on other sites

My thanks to everybody who has helped me. With the assistance of yourselves, photographs I took at the location, and Google Maps, I am 99.9% sure that I have found the area that I was looking for. It is about 100 yards north of the Mortelweg/ Briekestraat crossroads and ties in with where the British front line was on 9th May 1915.

Once again, many thanks.

 

Colin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

Oblique aerial photo of Admiral's Road (01-05-1917)

 

Aurel

Admiral's Road 010517 marked.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. Just to the left of Buffs road is where my wifes uncle died when he was hit by a shell.

 

Colin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

Photo taken from the end of the motorway A19. (26 Jan. 2009)

Foreground : Buff's Rd.

To the left crossroads with Admiral's Rd (leading toward the small white house in the distance and farther : hamlet Moorteltje.)

the muddy field : Canadian Dugouts

Admiral's Rd & Can Dugouts Pano 260109 Canon_stich2.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

The Admiral

(From Illustrated London News 22-07-1916)

Aurel

Kopie van 02 Smith Cyril Aldin  Illustr London News 22 07 16.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurel Sercu

One more. Admiral's Rd, from the hamlet Moorteltje (= crossroads Briekestraat and Moortelweg), looking SE.

Photo 22 aug. 2012.

Aurel

 

Admiral's Rd 220812 06.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Colinc47 said:

My thanks to everybody who has helped me. With the assistance of yourselves, photographs I took at the location, and Google Maps, I am 99.9% sure that I have found the area that I was looking for. It is about 100 yards north of the Mortelweg/ Briekestraat crossroads and ties in with where the British front line was on 9th May 1915.

Once again, many thanks.

 

Colin

 

Great, you do have the correct area as I checked the war diary of the 11th Infantry Brigade:

They were holding a line north-east of the admiral's road. The 1st Somerset Light infantry relieved the Essex on the left of the 11th Infantry Brigade front line on 9 May 1915.

This was at the Moortelweg-Briekestraat crossroad.

So it should be easy for you to revisit the area.

 

Luc.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou. I have the 1st Somersets war diaries, so I knew I was in the right area, but couldn't pinpoint it. Thanks to everyone on here I have been able to do that. I hope, Covid permitting, to visit later this year. Failing that, definitely next year.

 

Colin

 

 

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...