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Remembered Today:

Maltz Horn Farm, Trones Wood - August 1916

Guest Chris Witcomb

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Hi Natasha and welcome to the forum.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has no known grave and it is the authoritative source.  I suspect you've looked at https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/766433/WILLIAM BOFFIN/


Maltz Horn Farm and Guillemont are shown in this thread.




Edited by WhiteStarLine
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Neil Mackenzie
On 29/07/2020 at 17:58, Natasha19999999 said:

Hello all, I am not sure where to start but i am researching my 4th great uncle, William Boffin (was private, then leiutenant). He was killed in action on july 10th 1916 during the battle of albert, battle of the somme. I am pretty sure he was killed likely before 8am, somewhere in Trones Wood – specifically the Maltz Horn Trench / Guillemont Track. He served in the machine gun corps (90th company), so was in the 90th brigade of the 30th division of the fourth new army - to be honest this is very confusing to me, especially as there are so many layers to understand i.e division/regiment/battalion/company etc! 

His body was never recovered i dont think, and he is remembered on the thiepval memorial. Although on one webpage there is a mention of him being buried at the Beaumont Hamel Mill Road cemetary, however i have tried following this up and come up with nothing, so i do not think he is actually buried there, but rather body never found.

How can i access or even find the correct war diary? i am planning a trip to france and to the thiepval memorial, and want to include the maltz horn farm trench and surrounding areas. Any tips would be very gratefully recieved ! 

Hi Natasha


Welcome to the Forum. According to his service record he Attested on 24 November 1915 although his service was reckoned from 19 November. He was transferred to the MGC on 8 April 1916 and went to France (Folkestone to Boulogne) on 25 June 1916. He joined the 90th MGC in the field on 5 July 1916 and was killed just 5 days later. I could see no evidence that he was ever an officer and CWGC records him as a Private.


The War Diary for the 90th MGC suggests they spent all day on 10 July (from 4am) some 150 yards from the south west corner of Trones Wood firing to prevent the enemy moving from Longueval along the road to the northern part of the Wood. They caused a lot of German casualties. Around 1pm the German guns finally located their position and they were heavily shelled and forced to withdraw around 5pm.  They were finally relieved at 6pm and retired to Bois Celastine.

Edited by Neil Mackenzie
Correct MGC Coy from 9th to 90th
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Welcome to the forum.


The 90th Company, Machine Gun Corps War Diary for the period you are interested in should be this one https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353664

The National Archive is currently offering a free download service if you register for an account.


Just in case I checked out the International Committe of the Red Cross website to see if they received a missing persons enquiry, but sadly drew a blank.


Hope that helps,


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  • 3 months later...
On 23/05/2016 at 00:32, Don Regiano said:

...I spotted this grenade (I believe it is French)...


 It is ... It's a French Grenade Fusante nr.1 (better known as the 'F1') with an (incomplete) bouchon allumeur à percussion modèle 1916

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6 hours ago, OM4619 said:

 It is ... It's a French Grenade Fusante nr.1 (better known as the 'F1') with an (incomplete) bouchon allumeur à percussion modèle 1916


Thanks for the confirmation - which fits the disposition of the forces at the time.  I think the grenade is long gone.  I don't know whether it was moved before the farmer dumped more stuff in the area (I had marked it with some stones and a red field marker) and the area has been cleared subsequently.



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For illustration, this F1 in my collection is exactly the same model depicted in both images but has it's allumeur à percussion modèle 1916 in a complete (though deactivated) state:

F1 grenade with 1916 percussion fuze (3).JPG

F1 grenade with 1916 percussion fuze (4).JPG

F1 grenade with 1916 percussion fuze (1).JPG

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  • 1 month later...

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