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What was happening around Armentieres in August 1917?


petersloan
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My Great Uncle, William Sloan RFA, was killed on 12th August 1917. He is buried in Bon Jean Cemetery in Armentieres alongside three other men from his unit, 378th Battery. Can anyone tell me what battle was being fought around Armentieres at the time?

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Hallo Peter, welcome to the Forum

Nothing springs to mind - only that if three gunners were buried togatehr, it could well have be a case of counter battery action by the Germans

(but I could be wrong)

Stephen

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Hello,

I can only offer a general outline. August 1917 was, of course, during the campaign called 3rd Ypres. The first stage, in June, was the sucessful attack on the Messines Ridge which roughly is 5 miles north of Armentieres. The German positions on the ridge were a salient into the allied lines. RFA units near Armentieres would have be heavily engaged then. The focus of action then moved north of Ypres until it bogged down in August. The next attacks in September were towards the North East from the Messines area. The front to the east of Armentieries had moved very little. Artillery excanges took place all the time and the Armentieries area was within range of German heavy artillery. Hope this helps.

Old Tom

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Cité bonjean is a cemetery just 100m from Armentieres hospital.It is a cemetery inside the city of Armentieres.The hospital was used as the railway station during the great war.

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Hi Peter,

Do you know the names of the other men from the 378th Bty. at the cemetery? I have a Gunner Charles William White 174964 who was KIA on 14th June 1917. From Old Tom's reply it sounds as if Charles might have been in the first push on the ridge?

Norman

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Hi Norman,

The only names from 378 Bttry that I have are F.S. Fenner and A.R. Downs - both killed on the same day in August 1917 as William Sloan.

Peter

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