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Remembered Today:

Willerval, east of Arras - Sugar Factory


Rev Mark Noakes
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My Great-Grandfather was killed 23rd April 1917 near Arras. In particular, as part of the 24th Royal Fusiliers he was part of the capture of the Sugar Factory at Willerval, and then the push towards Arleux. He was killed in the forward trenches between the Sugar Factory and the 'Arleux loop' lines, probably by shelling.

Has anyone photos of the area, old or current. I've only managed to find the panoramic view of the area in the book/cdrom of battlefields from IWM, which is actually from the 22/4/17. Any other pics much appreciated, or any details of current state of the land.

Cheers

Mark

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Mark, I will be in the Oppy area in a months time, if you could let me have the exact location ( map for instance) I'll see if I can get the photo you require

I'm on a fairly tight schedule but if I can fit in your request for a photo of the area I will try to drive via the site you require.

regards

Tom

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Mark, I have just found a map which shows Tommy alley communications trench to the Arleux loop line south. this is part of a larger map which covers the area to the south of Arleux centred on Bailleul.

If it's the area of Tommy trench you need photgraphing this is just to the north of Oppy wood where I'll be visiting, might just fit it in

Regards Tom

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post-5284-1157451754.jpg

Mark, Aerial view of your interest I think.

Top..Arleux, top left ..Willerval, bottom left..Bailleul and corner of Oppy wood on the right.

Regards

Tom

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Tom

Thank you so much for the offer. If you can fit anything in that would be amazing. Thanks also for the sat photo. I've got another, but yours seems to be a much better quality, and I can make out a lot of the details from the trench maps... Therefore, the places of most interest are

a.The Sugar Factory site, circled red on your pic, on the inside of the sharp left bend of the D919 road as you leave Bailleul and head for Arleux.

b.The site of the front line trench (i think) on the day in question, the yellow line. Marked on the maps as the end kink of Tommy Alley and Kent Road. I guess that these were later expansion of the then shallow posts, etc. Now straddle some minor roads that lead off the Arleux/Oppy road.

post-14234-1157459964.jpg

As I said, anything you could snap at would be excellent. Main concern is how much of the Sugar Factory site is still in existance. In any event, I hope your trip is most rewarding, and the weather kind.

Thank you

Mark

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Close-up of the sugar factory site Mark

Tom

post-5284-1157466258.jpg

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Tom, that is so clear! Are those even the shadows of old/filled in shell holes visable in the field? Where did you get these - are they your own or an internet site?

I'm in your debt.

Many thanks

Mark

:D

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This may be interesting reading.

The Canadians were there at Willerval at the time you are speaking of.

The war diary for the 3rd Battalion CEF recounts the details of the planned attack at Arleux, and some general information about the situation and the area.

Go to this link - scroll down and the Willerval section starts at War Diary April 1917 pg. 6: -

Canadians At Willerval, Farbus Wood, April 1917

As for maps, here are the links to the maps of the surrounding area that went with this volume of the war diary (this is from the above source):

April 1917 Appendix A1, pg. 139

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076674.jpg

Appendix pg. 140

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076675.jpg

Appendix pg. 141

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076676.jpg

Appendix pg. 142

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076677.jpg

Appendix pg. 143

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076678.jpg

Appendix pg. 144

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076679.jpg

Appendix pg. 145

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076680.jpg

Appendix pg. 146

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076681.jpg

Appendix pg. 147

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076682.jpg

Appendix pg. 148

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001076683.jpg

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The Canadian Archives have a few contemporary photos. The descriptions are here . Unfortunately the only one available on-line is this one. The caption reads: "German prisoners and casualties May 1917". It is interesting, but it could have been anywhere. Sorry.

post-75-1157507128.jpg

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to get these sat pics go to the french site www.pagesjaunes.fr

you will get a page where you need to put in some info.

for 'nom' choose a common french name, dupont, leclerc etc, or just use the activité part and put La Poste or Banque etc;

in 'localité' type in the plave name 'albert' or whatever you are looking for

in Département put in the number '80' or name of département 'Somme' for example. You can then fly about and zoom in etc.

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:D

Thank you all!

Enough to keep me going for ages here!

Cheers

Mark

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