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Remembered Today:

Where exactly was imperial trench?


Tony N
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Hello,

I'm trying to find the position of part of the British line called 'Imperial Trench' (July 1917). All I know is that it was in the general area of Battle Wood/Hollebeke.

I'd be very happy to receive any help in pinpointing its position as I hope to visit it when I go to Ypres in a few weeks.

Thanks

Tony

Edited by Tony N
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Imperial Trench/Avenue was just south of Hill 60 at Zwarteleen. It started at the Verbrandenmolen - Hollebeke road (Battle Wood Road) and ran east from there onto Imperfect Row.

I have a photocopy of a map showing where it is. I will scan it for you at work tomoro and send it to you tomoro evening if that suits.

I also have the war diary extract for the 9th Battalion North Staffs who were there sept-oct 1917 and Sjt John Carmichael won the VC in Imperial Trench. If that is of interest, let me know and i'll transcribe it for you.

If you manage to find it, could I trouble you for a few photographs of the area, esp Imperial Trench, if there is anything left of it.

Barrie

Edited by barrieduncan
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Wow Barrie, that was quick.

Photos of the trench/area will be no problem, I'll send you a pm in a mo.

Cheers

Tony

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Hello,

I'm trying to find the position of part of the British line called 'Imperial Trench' (July 1917). All I know is that it was in the general area of Battle Wood/Hollebeke.

I'd be very happy to receive any help in pinpointing its position as I hope to visit it when I go to Ypres in a few weeks.

Thanks

Tony

Tony.

"Imperial Trench" was but a short section of frontline trench opposite Ravine Wood. There was a whole host of "Imperials" (Support, Avenue, Lane, Row, etc, etc.) in the trench system to the rear , but only the one Imperial "Trench" in this area

See the below extract showing it's entirety...

(From http://pathsofglory.co.uk...)

post-7911-1135879907.jpg

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Hi Dave,

I got this map along with extracts from a war diary, the trenches have been drawn in by hand, and they have imperial trench as east of where your map puts it. Looking at the quality of your map, and the quality of mine, I think its safe to say mine is out somewhat :)

It does look like the case that if you were to draw a line from the imperial in my map, it would join the imperial in yours at the bottom of the ravine.

Cheers for the heads up, I stand corrected :)

Barrie

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Tony.

"Imperial Trench" was but a short section of frontline trench opposite Ravine Wood. There was a whole host of "Imperials" (Support, Avenue, Lane, Row, etc, etc.) in the trench system to the rear , but only the one Imperial "Trench" in this area

See the below extract showing it's entirety...

(From http://pathsofglory.co.uk...)

Now that is good.

As the trench is red, does it mean that Imperial Trench was in the German lines?

Cheers

Tony

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Dave,

I have your site in my favourites but never thought to look there. I know, I'm a silly bu**er.

Tony

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Now that is good.

As the trench is red, does it mean that Imperial Trench was in the German lines?

Cheers

Tony

Until June 1917, yes (the map above is April 1917). After the Battle of the Ridges (oka "Messines"), it was quite a way behind the British front line.

Dave.

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Until June 1917, yes (the map above is April 1917). After the Battle of the Ridges (oka "Messines"), it was quite a way behind the British front line.

Dave.

If you take a look at this trenchmap (which is a slight "oddity" as it still shows the German trenches that are now in British hands in red as well as those that aren't!) you can work out how far behind the British lines it was on 30th June 1917. The actual new British front line is the blue line in square 36, with "Imperfect Trench" now being the German frontline in this area.

Dave.

post-7911-1135887941.jpg

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I see.

My man was killed on 26th July.

Tony

So he was killed approxomately 1.5 km behind the British frontline of that date and in the old German frontline trench.

Dave.

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Dave,

I have the very same map (well almost) but it shows the German front line as Imperfect Trench, those to the west are blue. Sheet 28 NW corrected to 30.6.17.

I'm going to have bags of fun and lots of head scratching when I get there.

Tony

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  • 3 months later...

Just as a matter of interest, if anyone has Rose Coombs book "Before Endeavours Fade", the trench map which covers Imperial Trench is printed on the Inside Front cover.

I had been looking for a map of Battle wood for ages, and of course looked in my copy of BEF for something completely unrelated and found it!

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Aerial pic of Imperial Trench and Imperial Lane, taken on 14/2/1916 at 07.00 hrs in the evening, after the German attack on the Bluff.

Imperial Trench (from where part of the german attack started) is running from the left under corner to the right.

Regards,

Cnock

post-7723-1146053050.jpg

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