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Remembered Today:

Zinc Trench, near Fricourt


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I have been reading about the action of the 20th Manchesters on the Somme, near Fricourt, in July 1916, and come across frequent references to "Zinc Trench". eg: "The battalion frontage was from Apple Alley exclusive to Zinc Trench exclusive, with the Border Regiment on the right and the 1st RWF on the left."

I have printed out a section of a trench map showing Bois Francais Trench and Bois Francais Support Trench (taken by the 20th Manchesters on 1 July). I can see "Apple Alley", perpendicular to BF Support Trench. However, the names on this copy of the map seem to have been overwritten (in ink), presumably to make them more easily readable.

I can see something called "Line Trench" (its name inked in firmly) at the north end of BF Support Trench, linking "Sunken Road Trench" to "Orchard Alley". But I am beginning to wonder if this was a mis-reading by the person re-labelling, and whether this "Line Trench" is in fact the elusive "Zinc Trench".

Can anybody out there tell me?


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I looked at that today, in the TNA shop in Kew, Terry. Lots of squiggly red lines for the trenches, but NO names on them at all!

I bought a Pen & Sword book "Fricourt-Mametz" while I was there, as it looked to cover the engagements I was interested in. And close scrutiny of the maps in there revealed that I was quite right in my guess, that "Zinc Trench" was the correct name for the one inked in as "Line Trench" on the version I have been sent (which I think is from the British Library originally.


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