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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

"Farms" in the Salient


Stephen Barker
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I'd be interested in your thoughts on this. If I look at a trench map of the Oosteverne sector, the British names with the suffix 'Farm' look like they relate to buildings. However, in a contemporary diary I have the writer tells that Rifle farm was a Pill Box.

Was it the case that both were true, or that Pill boxes were built close to farm buildings and that all that was left after bombardment was the ferro concrete structure?

Any thoughts gratefully received, especially if in refernce to the Oosteverne sector east of Wychaete.

Thank you

Stephen

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In many cases the pill boxes and blockhouses were constructed inside existing farm buildings. What tended to happen was that artillery fire eventually smashed the camouflaging buildings, leaving the concrete strucures, which still bore the original names.

Jack

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Hi Stephen,

Most "farms" were real farms! But as you write: it was common to build a bunker-concrete shelter (not really a pill box) near to the buildings, just to hide during a bombardment.

Ceasefire

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Oosttaverne sector was German sector, on British trenchmaps, the names of the farm = the inhabitant or previous inhabitant, sometimes the old historic name. Flemisch names ... Goudezeune, Onraet, Mahieu, .... ( the trench maps - were a copy of the Belgian maps--- only in the British sector the name were changed.. there was no need doing so in the German sector) Only when there was no "Flemish name" a British name was given to it.

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Thanks to all for these very useful replies

Stephen

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In many cases the pill boxes and blockhouses were constructed inside existing farm buildings. What tended to happen was that artillery fire eventually smashed the camouflaging buildings, leaving the concrete strucures, which still bore the original names.

Jack

This is one of many examples:

post-7367-1194510628.jpg

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Sorry Mick

dunno what the English name of that building was.

The problem is that I have no German trench map which includes the building.

The Germans called it STROH-GUT or STROHGUT (Strea thatched farm or domain).

This way I can't do any comparison with (for example) trench maps of our forum pal CROONAERT.

Here a link to his website:

http://pathsofglory.co.uk/Trenchmap%20extracts.htm

Malte

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  • 2 months later...

The one on Malte's photo's is the famous Vampir farm !

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  • 1 month later...

I did read somewhere ( forgot where) that some troops did actually cultivate land behind the front line, " Farms" I suppose.

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