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Gommecourt


stu
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Next week I shall be in the Gommecourt area,can anyone please advise me of the best parts to look at,I'm particulary keen to look at the 56th Division sector,is much of it accessable and will it be possible to walk Gommecourt Park and Wood.

Many thanks.

Stuart

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If I were you I'd get hold of Forum member bmac's book on the subject, "Pro Patria Mori", and/or the Gommecourt book in the Battleground Europe series.

The latter may be available at Thiepval Visitor Centre.

Ken

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Would agree to ask Bmac about it, if you can get the book even better, though its a large book and the chances of finishing it and getting the info you need may be a big ask. I would drop a PM to bmac for advice.

regards

Arm

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Even if you can't get bmac's book, the website is very impressive....http://www.gommecourt.co.uk/

Alan

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Stuart,

The 56th Division front is open farm land and you should be able to walk across most of the area as the crops will be in. If you work on the basis that that Gommecourt Cemetery No. 2 is both in the middle of No Man's Land and in the middle of the 56th Division's front then you can start to get some idea of the terrain. Basically, the near corner of Gommecourt Park (west of the cemetery and the area in front of and to the right of the wooded area to the east of the cemetery define the 56th Division's front.

Without wishing to be too cheeky I believe Amazon has a copies of Pro Patria Mori and the rather cheaper Battleground Europe Gommecourt and they use carriers to deliver an express package (don't know the cost) which means they can still get them to you in spite of the postal strike.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Bill

PS I believe it is hunting season in France and entering private woods like Gommecourt Wood and Park is not encouraged and can be very unhealthy. French hunters tend to shoot first and ask questions afterwards. You can see extensive trench systems disappearing into both areas from the edge.

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Many thanks to you all for your replies.

Bill,thank you for the advice regarding landmarks etc,having only driven through Gommecourt before,I wasn't sure where to start from.

I already have a copy of your excellent Pro Patria Mori,but I will probably get the Battleground Europe one from the IWM,they usually have a good stock.

I have a couple of trench maps showing Gommecourt,do you think will I be able to determine where certain trenches are as well as other landmarks such as Z hedge and Nameless Farm.

Many thanks.

Stuart

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Z Hedge has long since disappeared as has Nameless Farm but it is possible to roughly ascertain its position. If you stand on the northern side of the Gommecourt No. 2 cemetery (right as you enter) then Nameless Farm was directly ahead near where the road bends. There used to be a pile of manure covered with a tarpaulin held down by tyres but this too has gone I think.

I have a coloured version of the trench map overlaid on the Michelin map used in the books on another computer which I will try to dig out. When do you go?

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for that,we will probably go on Thursday,alternatively we will be going on Tuesday week.

Many thanks.

Stuart

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I once got into Gommecourt wood, and it was a interesting experience, with remains of the trenches still deep, and also remember a stone lintel above a filled in dugout entrance. Though would agree with not going in during the hunting season. There is also the remains of a British observation post nearby (will try and dig out a pic). Rossignal Wood nearby is also an interesting visit, with its cemetery with a lot of German graves.

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The concrete OP is just off to the right of the Hebuterne to Gommecourt road opposite the southern end of Gommecourt Park (nearer to Hebuterne). I believe it dates from 1918.

You can see extensive trenches at the SE corner of Gommecourt Park (LRB front) just to the left of the Hebuterne to Gommeocurt road. Heavy fighting took place here between 55th RIR and LRB bombing parties.

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Stuart

After you've walked around the southern part of the Gommecourt Salient, and if you still have some time on your hands, the northern part, where the 46th Division attacked is very interesting. You can still access parts of the Z and little Z, which lie within a small copse at the very edge of the battlefield.

I have modern maps superimposed over the 1916 trench maps if you are interested.

cheers

Mike

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Thanks to everyone for your replies.

Bill and Mike thank you both very much for your offers of the superimposed map,it will be really useful to have these if you don't mind emailing them to me.

Many thanks.

Stuart

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