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Remembered Today:

St Eloi Sign Festival


Simon Jones
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Can someone translate this notice? I am hoping to visit this crater with a group later in the year. I think the signs are self-explanatory.

Many thanks

Simon

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I'd like to have a go before our Belgian Pals come along because I've been learning and they'll be able to tell me if I'm right!

I think it's a sign to "Sport-Fishermen" telling them that for the year 2005 fishing is only allowed for the people named. There are also some requests to them, such as not to park on the road in a way which will interfere with traffic and also not to park in the parking-space of house number 117.

Tom

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Gosh what a proliferation of signs. Ten years ago the crater was just in a field. Now a new bungalow/s has been built opposite and a new entrance rd the Privateweg of the sign. But Ive always asked anyone I,ve seen if its ok just to come in and look , noone has objected. For trivia buffs these two craters are where the Rev Ed Mellish won the VC following their detonation and partial capture by a Royal fusiliers battalion March 27th 1916. It was awarded for his unceasing and unselfish work of going out under fire to bring wounded back in from that action. Strange to think it now such a peaceful spot. Photo taken last September and the pond was swirling with large carp! Hence the fishers. SG

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P S I can understand the sign of a bar through a doggie as no dogs allowed, but what is the other one next to your notice, a bar through a hand. No Ulstermen ?? SG

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Tom

Thank you, what you say makes sense. I thought at first it was some kind of Flemish ASBO.

SG

Thanks for pointing up the Mellish link, I am fixated by things underground and tend to forget the deeds on the surface.

Regards

Simon

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Tom, you're getting the Flemish language rather good ! Totally correct.

And yes this is the kind of behaviour one get's nowadays in some parts of our region, very unfortunate, but reality.

Some people want to forget all about WW I in it's whole. Without respect for the ones who died there and their family...

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Excuse my enquiry, but wasnt it 4th Royal Fusiliers who stormed the craters at St Eloi? I ask because gt grandad was there I think. I'm still waiting for a copy of the battalion war diary to confirm, although I think a Belgian Pal emailed me ages ago and told me!!

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Graeme as per the site pages quite correct. Looking towards the german lines the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers stormed the main 2 &3 craters on the right with total success. The 4th RF attacked craters 4 &5 on the left, the two that now remain. The crater in my picture is no 4 with 5 behind the trees. The 4th took crater 4 but not 5 as they came under much heavier enfilade fire from their left. hence their higher number of casualties leading to the Rev Mellish's VC action rescuing wounded. Crater 5 was captured by another unit. But the position was then taken over by the 2nd Canadian Division in their first western front deployment. Unfortuneately they were driven out of the position 2 days later and the craters were never retaken despite the strenuous efforts of the canadians. St Eloi a really interesting but little appreciated spot. SG

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Cheers SG. I really want to go there soon. The more I find out about him the more I want to see. I just want to see stuff you know what I mean? I dont think the guys would've even dreamt of their descendants visiting these places they lived in and around in. It looks paeceful now, thank heaven.

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This photo is from the Canadian online War Diaries, actually from the British 3rd Division Report appendices.

North is at the top, the British lines run across the middle of the photo. Craters 2,3,4 & 5 are the large craters on the lower half.

We are going to St Eloi for my 1916 Forgotten Battles tour this July (shameless plug) and will also be viewing the British Official Film ‘The Fight at St Eloi’

This is the IWM catalogue description:

The attack by 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers, at St Eloi, Western Front, 27 March 1916.

A major commanding one of the supporting batteries receives orders to fire from a field telephone. 18-pounder field guns, completely hidden by brushwood, open fire. The view from the front line trench about an hour after the British dawn attack showing the newly-formed mine craters. A column of German prisoners, mostly 18th Jäger Battalion, being marched to the rear by escorts of 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. Men of the Northumberland Fusiliers posed two days after the attack, back in their rest area, displaying their trophies which include Jäger dress helmets. The Official Photographer, Second Lieutenant Ernest Brooks, walks among the men with his camera, posing them for the picture, and then moves out of shot. (No members of the other battalion in the attack, 4th Royal Fusiliers, are clearly identified in the film.)

Regards

Simon

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Goodness gracious. It looks like a hellhole. Like the moon in fact. I never cease to be amazed by this sort of image and the fact all those blokes, whatever nationality they were, had to live and die amongst it. If anymore photo's are available, can we see them? Are there any around of the 4th Royal Fusiliers?

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graeme and Simon a great photo. You will see the whol;e area was a crater field from heavy artillery and previous smaller mines. The 4 large craters running along the bottom left and centre are the 4 main craters of the 27th MARCH 1916 2, 3 4 AND 5 Left to right. 4 &5 are the ones where the 4th RF attacked and are still visible today. Crater 3 was at that time with the possible exception of Hooge the largest mine yet exploded on the Western Front. It was designed to obliterate a strongpoint knowm as The Mound which being a smll hillock gave full observation over the southern half of the Salient. Toady it is covered by the most southerly road junction exiting out of the village but one cans till see from the british lines in the village how the terrain rises, as always, up to the German lines giving them superior observation.

A great place to vist. search ther Web for Tim Cooks article The Blind leading the Blind which gives the whole story of the St Eloi 1916 action. SG

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BTW, there's a pill box on the other side of the main road in a garden, hard to see from the road, but he still exists.

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