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

Remembered Today:

Aussie sites


Mat McLachlan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

For anyone who's interested in Australian sites on the Western Front...

In June I spent a few weeks doing a research trip to finalise a few things for my book (due for release June 2006). In the course of walking the main Aussie battlefields I came across a few sites that might be of interest to people. These will all be in the book but I'm happy to give the Pals a sneak preview...

1. Montbrehain. The crater attacked by George Ingram, earning him the VC - 40 machine guns and 60 men were captured, with another 40 killed. John Laffin said in his definitive guide to the Western Front that the crater was gone, but he was looking in the wrong place.

post-4182-1127216918.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you sure that is a crater and not a quarry? Who blew the mine, and when? This was quite some way behind the German lines until October 1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. The railway station at Montbrehain. Aussie troops who captured the town found the station piled with German supplies (including beer!) and a group of locals hiding in the cellar. The station is now a house but the platform is still obvious at the back of the house and the little signal box now looks like a garden shed.

post-4182-1127217134.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you sure that is a crater and not a quarry? Who blew the mine, and when? This was quite some way behind the German lines until October 1918.

Oops, good point Paul. I meant 'quarry', but am typing too quickly to pay adequate attention! It's definitely a quarry, not a crater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3. The sunken road at Mont St Quentin. It was here that Edgar Towner set up his two Vickers guns and one captured German Maxim to disrupt German counter attacks. This action, and others throughout the day, earned him the VC.

post-4182-1127217423.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4. Mont St Quentin again, and this one is definitely a crater! This is the crater captured by Alby Lowerson and his small group of men - he was awarded the VC.

post-4182-1127217663.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6. Last one for now. Noreuil - the stretch of road where a German machine gun behind a barricade mauled the 50th Battalion. Jorgen Jensen ran along the bank and bombed the Germans into submission. Another day, another VC...

Cheers,

Mat

post-4182-1127218336.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt,

great pictures!

Did you know that George Ingram's widow and son both live in Hastings, Vic?

(my Town)

Peter

Hi Peter,

I wasn't aware of that. I knew Ingram was from Hastings but didn't know he still had relatives there. Can I imply from your post that his widow is still alive?

Cheers,

Mat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt,

yes, Myrtle is in very good health and attends the local Uniting Church. When Princess Ann opened the Otama display in Hastings, Myrtle was a guest of honour.She attends every Anzac day ceremony at the memorial on the foreshore.

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank Mat- Great photos. Bede Kenny V.C. is buried in C of E Section of Botany Cemetery, Sydney a few meters from my father's grave- so he is in good company.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Poz,

Interesting to know. I'd like to visit his grave one day, so thanks for letting me know where it is.

Cheers,

Mat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Mat,

Fantastic photographs. How about LCpl Bernie Gordon VC MM, 41st Battalion. East of Bray near Fargny Wood 27/28 August 1918. Do you have any photos from the site of his VC? This is probably one of the best citations I have read. His grandson is a mate of mine and it would be great to be able to pass on some photos. He has been to the general area but was unsure of the exact site. A relative of mine (WO1 Harry Tesch) was his RSM when he won the VC. (My mates uncle Jim Gordon also won a VC at Jezzine in WW2).

Rgds

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tim,

Unfortunately I don't have any shots of the area where Bernie Gordon won his VC. From my understanding he was pretty active throughout the day in Fargny Wood - it's pretty much a case of 'pick a spot and Gordon was doing something brave there'. Even though I am going to mention every Aussie VC site in my book, I'm only including photos of those sites that are visited on one of my 13 walking tours, and then only if the site can be specifically located (as in the shots in my previous posts). This really only includes the 'main' Australian battlefields at Pozieres, Messines, Mont St Quentin, etc. Fargny Wood will be mentioned in the 'Other sites of interest' in the Somme chapter, with appropriate directions.

Cheers,

Mat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot Mat. Looking forward to the book.

Rgds

Tim

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...