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Remembered Today:

The Mound near Eagle Trench, Langemarck


6th Shropshires

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Hi All

On the 23rd September 1917, a party of one officer & 40 men of the 6/K.S.L.I. attacked a position known as the Mound from the Cemetary at Schreiboom, while bombers of the 10th R.B. attacked Eagle Trench from the north & bombers of the 12/K.R.R.C. attacked it from the south, and a company of 10th R.B. attacked the trench over the open from the west. I have never been able to find the Mound marked on any trench maps and was hopeing someone know its position.

The 20th Divisions History describes Eagle Trench as a curiously constructed work, in which the actual trench ran between two solid embankments about 8 feet high. So I am guessing the Mound is the rear embankment, but am I correct or not.

Also could any member living in the arae tell me if this Mound is still there, a member of the forum is planning to make a visit here because his wifes Grandfather may have been killed during the attack on the Mound, and it would be helpful to know if its still there.

Thanks in advance

Annette

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Hi Annette,

I'm sure you'll get a reply from a 'real' expert soon but here's my thoughts to be going on with.

Looking at a 1917 trench map of Eagle Trench, there is nothing to suggest any sort of mound or the peculiar image of a trench within 8' high bankings BUT the trench in question does approach the railway. Now a railway cutting with banks 8' high sounds quite plausible to me and I wonder if it is possible that the hard-pressed Germans converted this into some sort of last-ditch (excuse the pun) redoubt?

Well, that's my theory. Now we stand back and wait for it to be demolished!

Cheers,

Ian

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Hi Ian

The northern tip of Eagle Trench was already in British hands, and the 10th R.B. bombed down it from the north, so no the Mound attacked by the 6/K.S.L.I. was close to the Cemetary at Schreiboom. Thanks for your reply.

Annette

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Annette,

I've never heard the names Eagle Trench nor The Mound, but I'll have a look at some trench maps tomorrow (Wednesday) morning in the Ypres Documentation Centre.

I know where the German Cemetery at Schreiboom was (in the bend on the road Langemark - Poelkapelle, just leaving the built-up area, on right side). Approx. 500 meters southeast of the railroad.

If you have further information on the location of the Mound ...

Aurel

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Hi Aurel

This is the area the 20th Division attacked, the 6/K.S.L.I. attacked from the cemetary flank.

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Annette,

Here is a map taken from the 10th R.B.'s War Diary, there is also a report on the action if you need it. Hope it comes out OK.

Andy

post-1871-1153293887.jpg

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Does not resize too well, but if you need the original let me know and I will e-mail it to you.

Andy

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Hi Andy

Thanks the report by 10th R.B. would be good & also I would like to have a better look at their map to compare with what I already have. I will email you & you can just attach the map to reply. If I can do anything for you just ask.

Again Thanks

Annette

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Annette,

Sorry... I had a look at a few maps this morning in the Ypres Documentation Centre, but to no avail. No problem to find Eagle Trench, but no mention of and no mark of something looking like a Mound.

Aurel

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Thanks for looking Aurel, hopefully Andy's map will show something.

Thanks Again

Annette

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I have just relooked at the map posted by Andy, evan throu not very clear and also looked hard at mine, I think I have spotted where it could be, on my map there is a small simi-circle at U.23.b.65.20 and looking at Andy's map there appear to be some kind of markings there, so I can't wait to get a clear copy.

Andy could I also ask you if you have diary entries for the 12/R.B. for the 20th Sept. 1917, I am hopeing to do another articial for WFA, to follow on from the one I have already done for them, covering the part played by the 6/K.S.L.I. during 20th-23rd Sept., I have little clear info. on the 12/R.B. for the 20th and would love more to make picture more clear & would be very greatfull to you.

Annette

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Annette,

Just curious - have you walked the area?

Ian

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Hi Ian

Sadly I have not, one day I will.

Annette

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Hi Annette,

I just thought that 8' high bankings may still be prominent. I see that Aurel is interested in your thread and he is a most valuable chap to have on your side. You may get someone going out there who can have a look around for you, Aurel may investigate or, failing anything else, I hope to be there in October and while I enjoy just 'stooging around' a 'project' makes things more interesting. I say 'hope' because I am encased in plaster at the moment and it seems uncertain as to whether it is a broken bone or torn ligament but I will be really miffed if I am still being pathetic in October!

I hope you get sorted long before then.

Ian

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Hi Ian

Sorry to hear you are in plaster hope your are out of it by October, I may be going to Ypres in November but still not sure my trip is going ahead, so if no one knows if its still there and you are out of plaster and feel like a look that would be good. I'll let you know if I find out before October.

Annette

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This scan has come out terribly because I have had to reduce it so much in size but, on the modern map, there is a small circular contour line which I have outlined in red and which could be the 'mound' mentioned.

I think it is just to the north/north west of the 'Blue Ho' mentioned on the trench map.

Neil

post-719-1153341035.jpg

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(...) on the modern map, there is a small circular contour line which I have outlined in red and which could be the 'mound' mentioned. (...)

Annette, Neil, Ian,

The mound mentioned ? Possible... I myself (though I live not more than 3 miles away) don't have that modern map (it's a different one from my Boezinge map). As a matter of fact I intended to go there this evening (by bike), not really optimistic enough nor hoping to discover it ... But as a thunderstorm was gathering over our area ... (Thank God we had some rain, in these unbearable temperatures...)

Probably tomorrow. If I had a somewhat more precise location, or some hints where to look at ...

I know that the area is built up now. Not entirely, but certainly the greater part of the south side of the road going from Langemark to the northeast and farther east (the Poelkapellestraat). If the mound should be on that side, more specifically from Langemark to the bend (T-junction with Schreiboomstraat) and then to that very short dead end road ending near the letter A of "Langemark" on Neil's map (= where the German cemetery was), then it's hopeless. (Grounds of a road works contractor now) But maybe on the other side of the Poelkapellestraat ? ...

Aurel

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Hi Annette,

Map and report all sent to you, hope they help a little. The 12th RB War Diary is a mess at Kew, people copying certain parts and placing them back anywhere.

I have up to June 1917 and try to piece the bits and pieces together when at Kew when I am there to complete the diary. It is one of the only RB Diaries that I have yet to complete.

Andy

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Firstly thanks to all.

Neil thanks for modern map, the area you have marked is not the right place but thanks again for takeing the trouble.

Andy many thanks for email, the map you sent is A1 and shows the Mound, and the report of the 10th R.B. as confirmed everything that I know, which is good. Your a star if I can ever help you one day just ask.

Aurel its too hot here to & I hope we get a little rain to help cool it down a bit, I have added part of Andy's map that show the Mound, and if you do manage to go that way, hopefully the map will help, and again many thanks.

Annette

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Aurel its too hot here to & I hope we get a little rain to help cool it down a bit, I have added part of Andy's map that show the Mound, and if you do manage to go that way, hopefully the map will help, and again many thanks.

Annette

Annette,

Thanks for that part of Andy's map showing the Mound.

But that's not really good news I must say. I'm 99% sure that that part of the Poelkapellestraat is built up now, and that there is no more Mound. And I have no idea when it disappeared. I have passed that spot dozens of times many years ago, and I don't recall ever seeing a Mound. But I did not really pay attention to it while driving past it. (Dangerous bend in the road.)

Anyway, the map extract will allow me to go and see the exact location where the mound was, and take a pic. Probably later this evening.

Aurel

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Annette

Have just read this thread properly; I assumed that you were linking this search to the 20th Div attack in August (superbly expalien din your WFA website article). Clearly I was wrong (again) :blink: and you are talking about their part in the Battle of the Menin Road.

Given that the Div had already taken the ground in August, why were they back on the same ground in September and how long were they there?

Stephen

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Hi Stephen

At 4.10 p.m. on the 16th August, the Germans counter-attacked and pushed the 12th King's out of their part of Eagle Trench driving them back about 200 yards also the 12th K.R.R.C. had to pull back its left flank to join up with the Kings. The 6th K.S.L.I. held on to their ground and handed over their line to the 10th Welsh Regt. of the 38th Division. The history of this Division does not throw any light on why the line won by the K.S.L.I. was given up, my guess is it was to straighten out the line and stop enfilade fire. The 38th Division also made an attack on Eagle Trench but could not keep pace with the barrage owing to mud and heavy fire forced survivors back to their start line.

Annette

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Hi Aurel

Thanks.

"Poelkapellestraat is built up now"

Sad but progess stops for nothing these days.

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Annette,

No more thunderstorms this evening, a bit fresher that yesterday, so : ideal weather for that bike trip to The Mound.

Three photos.

This first one was taken at the T-junction of the Poelkapellestraat (that is, on the extract from Andy's map you have posted, the road from left to right) and the Schreiboomstraat (the one going north). I was facing east.

In the middle of the photo there is a row of trees (4 pollard willows). The first tree is where Eagle Trench crossed the road. (I had measured the distance from the Schreiboomstraat to the trench on the map, and it appeared to be approx. 65 meters.)

Beyond these trees there is another row, but between these two rows, at 120 meters, there is a gate (which you will see on the second photo I'll post, after this.) That is where The Mound was.

And almost at the end of the road on the photo (a little before a slight bend in the road, not on your map) is where the German Cemetery was. Now an industrial building.

Aurel

post-92-1153422342.jpg

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