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British front line St. Jean Ypres, March 1916


neverforget

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Good day all. Hopefully someone can help me with something for which I have been searching since the earliest days of my research. 

My great grandfather was killed on 30th March 1916 whilst serving with the 2nd btn Coldstream Guards. I have the battalion diary, which tells me that he was killed in the "Trenches in front of St. Jean." I was hoping that perhaps someone might be able to help me pinpoint the location of these trenches. 

Many thanks for reading. 

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34 minutes ago, neverforget said:

Good day all. Hopefully someone can help me with something for which I have been searching since the earliest days of my research. 

My great grandfather was killed on 30th March 1916 whilst serving with the 2nd btn Coldstream Guards. I have the battalion diary, which tells me that he was killed in the "Trenches in front of St. Jean." I was hoping that perhaps someone might be able to help me pinpoint the location of these trenches. 

Many thanks for reading. 

The closest to 1916 I can find is November 1915. I don't think they will have moved that far in the next 5 months. Grid square 27 C d is St Jean. @Howard or @WhiteStarLine may be able to help you with a modern map/ reference, if I may call upon their help please? The map is bigger on the link. Edit here; @brianmorris547 may also be able to help he he would not mind please.

image.png.026e90cd2b3092306bcada63e35ff5de.png

http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A71272

Edited by Bob Davies
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Many thanks for the reply, Bob, much appreciated.  I've been working back through the diary to November 15 to see if I could get any clues, but they were in the Merville area in November, gradually moving towards Ypres, finally arriving in March just a couple of weeks before he was killed. He is buried in White House cemetery. 

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Bob, NF

The WD of 1 Guards Brigade (WO 95/1212) 30/03/1916 records that 3 Coldstream Guards relieved 2 Coldstream Guards in the Left Sector and Brigade Order 48 describes the Left Front Bn as "From Fenchurch St to Pratt St G 28 a 3 8 - responsible for the St Jean Defences".

The Guards Div relieved 71 Infantry Brigade and 18 Infantry Brigade of 6 Div in the area on 18 and 19/03/1916.

There is a map in the March 1916 WD of 6 Div HQ GS but, like the one above, does not show names.

In the August 1915 WD of 16 Infantry Brigade of 6 Div there is this map which shows Finch St (I can not find Fenchurch St) and Pratt St at G 28 a 3 8. 

TNA WO 95/1605.

There are other maps of St Jean in the December 1915 WD of 16 IB and in the August 1915 and November 1915 WDs of 14 Div HQ GS (WO 95/1864). These show the same i.e. Finch St.

Brian

1605.jpg

1605.jpg

Edited by brianmorris547
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On TrenchMapper, map ID m_026057 is about as close a date as you are likley to find.

Right click, choose Map ID Jump and enter m_026057. Failing that, search for Sint-juliaan in Advanced Search then look down the list of 382 of the area offered in the lower left panel.

Note however that Great War map dates are a problem, some do not show a date but are still worth looking at.

Howard

 

 

Name: Elverdinghe, St Julien, Poperinghe, Ypres
Sheet: 28 NW
Scale: 1:20,000
Edition: 3B 1916
Trenches corrected to 15/3/1916. Printed 15/03/1916
Id: m_026057

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Many thanks to you Brian and Howard. I'm very grateful for your help. 

Perhaps I am losing the plot, but I see now that I made a similar request here on the forum about 10 years ago. It must have somehow slipped my mind, (which is somewhat alarming) so my apologies for bothering people again on the same subject. The trench names Fenchurch Street to Pratt Street also came up then. I was very grateful for everyone's help on that occasion too, but I seem to remember being somewhat embarrassed about not being able to act on the tips given, as my knowledge of maps and the reading of them were virtually non-existent, so I never got to establish where the two trenches were. I'm afraid to say that my map reading skills haven't improved over the years, but I will have another try, and see if I can find them. 

Once again, my grateful thanks to everyone. :thumbsup:

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Pratt Street is at 28.C.22.c.53.01. Enter that in TrenchMapper although you will have to swap maps to see it.

Howard

Name: Frezenberg
Sheet: 28 NW 2 & 28 NW 4 & 28 NE 1 & 28 NE 3 [parts of]
Scale: 1:10,000
Edition: 2 8/07/1917
Trenches corrected to 22/07/1917. Printed 22/07/1917
Id: m_021686

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1 hour ago, brianmorris547 said:

In the August 1915 WD of 16 Infantry Brigade of 6 Div there is this map which shows Finch St (I can not find Fenchurch St) and Pratt St at G 28 a 3 8. 

Thank you for you response and help Brian, you are a true Gent! I think you have a typo in the above line should be C 28 not G 28.

Fenchurch St is at C 29 c. 3. 8.  Map courtesy of National archives.

Thank you for your response and help @Howard I will get the hang of trench mapper eventually!

image.png.1be6dce53fc46abd9a244bc606e28d1d.png

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Many thanks again gentlemen. I can now see both Pratt Street and Fenchurch Street, which was the sector in question. At last, after all these years I can finally put it to bed. You have all been a great help, and as an aside I feel motivated to get online to try to get to grips with reading maps, and particularly deciphering the references. 

You have all made my day. I'm extremely grateful. 

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Bob

Just found Fenchurch St on the map in the November 1915 WD of 14 Div HQ GS. I was looking above Pratt St on the map I posted earlier because Fenchurch St is not marked on that one. It also shows position S 8 a, S 9 a and S 10 a mentioned in the WD of 1 Guards Brigade.

TNA WO 95/1864. 

1864.jpg

Edited by brianmorris547
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4 minutes ago, brianmorris547 said:

Bob

Just found Fenchurch St on the map in the November 1915 WD of 14 Div HQ GS. I was looking above Pratt St on the map I posted earlier because Fenchurch St is not marked on that one.

TNA WO 95/1864. 

1864.jpg

Thank you Brian, they are all on this one!

@neverforget Always happy to help. Quite a good description of how to read a trench map is on the Long Long Trail.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battlefields/how-to-read-a-british-trench-map/

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Bob

You are correct. Brigade Order 48 does show C 28 not G 28. It also gives the co ordinates for Fenchurch St. TNA WO 95/1212.

Brian

1212.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Bob Davies said:

Thank you Brian, they are all on this one!

@neverforget Always happy to help. Quite a good description of how to read a trench map is on the Long Long Trail.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battlefields/how-to-read-a-british-trench-map/

Thanks again Bob. :thumbsup:

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