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Remembered Today:

"HQ" and "Reserve" Dugouts, Trenches 30-32, Ypres, Fall 1915


Bob Drummond
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According to the War Diary, from its base camp in Reninghelst, 8th Bn The Buffs with my 2 great-uncles was introduced to trench duty in late Oct to Nov 1915 at "trenches 30, 31 and 32 on Map 28" while using "Reserve Dugouts" and "HQ Dugouts".  I believe these locations were at or close to the Ypres-Comines Canal, east/northeast of St. Eloi.  I have reviewed several "Map 28" copies on line from the NLS and McMaster University websites but unable to find these features marked.  I would be grateful for any information regarding these trenches and dugouts.  Thank you!

Bob Drummond

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Peter, thank you so much!  The map corresponds and gives much greater meaning to the battalion War Diary entries referring to artillery damage to dugouts in specific trenches or trench sections, such as 31S and 32R, and enemy activity seen across from Trench 29, etc.  The entry for 20 Oct 15 says a battalion lieutenant was killed at The Bluff, so the map brings it all into focus. 

I'm very grateful, thank you!

Sincerely, Bob

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Bob

I have found that the best places to look for 1915 trench maps are the War Diaries of 5 Div and 28 Div. This map is from the June 1915 WD of 5 Div HQ General Staff (WO 95/1512) Courtesy TNA.  (Ancestry p 389/873). There is another map on p 393.

On 01/11/1915 24 Div were in the trenches P 1 via St Eloi to trench 32 and it gives the map references O 1 d to I 34 d. 

The map shows all these features. It does not have as much detail as Peter's map around the Bluff, but it gives the bigger picture.

Brian

5 HQGS.jpg

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Brian

Thank you very much for the terrific information, references and map.  I've downloaded the 5 Div HQ WD for June 1915 from TNA and found the second map to which you refer.  The maps and info/refs provided by you and Peter are very complementary and I'm grateful for your help.  

Could you please explain your "Ancestry" reference?  Is that thru the genealogy company/website or another document?

Bob

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Bob

The WD for 5 Div HQ General Staff is available on Ancestry. There is a numbered filmstrip when you access the record (Piece 1512) and the map was on page 389 of a total of 873 pages.

Brian 

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Bob

There is an earlier map on the last page of Piece 1511. On Ancestry War Diaries under Divisional Head Quarters - 5 Div - Piece 1511.

Brian

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Hi Brian and Peter:

Just thought I'd let you know that your kindly provided maps and info have also helped a friend mark some of the movements of one of his family members who was in the 1st Cdn Infantry Bde/Div.  As you're no doubt aware but is new for my friend and me, about five months after my 8th Buffs great-uncles (mum's side) manned these trenches, the 2nd Cdn Div took over the area. To replace personnel lost during the Actions at St. Eloi Craters in Mar-Apr 1916, another of my great-uncles (dad's side), who had emigrated to Canada prior to the war, was transferred from the 47th Cdn Bn that was still in England to the 29th Bn/6th Bde at St. Eloi.  He joined the battalion on 8 May, was killed a month later during the Battle of Mount Sorrel and is buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery (thanks again to Michelle and her friend for the great photos!).  At the end of May, just a few days before the German attack, 2nd Cdn Div extended its line east to include these trenches at the Canal and Bluff.  Per the attached Op Order excerpt, the 1st Cdn Bde relieved the 6th Bde at these trenches a few weeks later.  So, your maps unlocked the war diaries that connect three story lines in time and location.

Thanks, again.

Bob

image.png.b72939f2154d198cc9332867de07daca.png

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