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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Bailiff Wood, Contalmaison


Clio
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About ten years ago it was possible to see trench works and revetment remains here. Does anyone know if they are still visible ?

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When I saw them 10-15 years ago I thought they looked German (but had certainly been reused). As I recall, the profile of some of these works was really quite striking and I could not help but think of George Butterworth and his DLI men battering their way through, bay by bay.

Glad they are still there.

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The war diaries of the 12th Btn DLI mention their action in and around Baliff Wood, I wished I'd known of their existence before my last trip. Do you have any photographs of them ?

Mick D

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I'll add to that request for a pic if anyone has them.

I didn't know they were there, either. These are within the area of Bailiff Wood itself?

Kind Regards,

SMJ

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The whole of Baliff Wood is indeed a mess of trenches, shell holes etc. As are the woods at point 110 at Fricourt, particularly the area around the rare and isolated private grave of a French soldier from 1915.

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To the best of my knowledge, the area was planted with saplings in 1914. They had barely come to maturity by the summer of 1916. Consquently the Germans spent some time preparing a strongpoint. I am not sure how much ground it commanded but it did prove a thorn in attempts to push forward from Horseshoe Trench towards Contalmaison (I dont recall the wood provided much of a field of fire to the south but I could be wrong) If my memory of battalion diaries/Official History and the like has not let me down, I think it was largely in allied hands before the big attacks of 10th July. Again, I could be wrong 'cause my memory is lousy but I believe George Butterworth was awarded an MC for his work here (could have been up at Munster Alley/Loop trench though - somebody will put me right)

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Nice to see some interest in this area, but do please remember that all woods are private property; most landowners will allow you access if you ask in advance - enquire at the local mairie in the first instance.

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