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Remembered Today:

Is this Hill 60?


AndyT175
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Picked up this photo recently and the seller suggested it was of Hill 60 sometime in 1916. It does look more like a canal than a railway cutting at lower left and a road can be made out skirting round the mine craters. My reference material doesn't suggest either way about Hill 60 but can anyone confirm where it is? If it's a canal is it Ypres - Comine?

Many thanks

Andy

post-14025-1205616241.jpg

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I am not certain but I thought it looked more like a canal, with a basin of some sort on the edge of the photograph. A road or a railway in the middle distance. Quite a distinctive set of mine craters, large and small, which ought to be recognisable.

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Andy,

I am not sure if your photograph shows the complete picture or whether it is cropped but there appears to be a number in the bottom left corner. Is the original a postcard or a full size photograph? If it is the latter, there is usually a date, a map reference and details of the Squadron which took the photograph. If these are present on the back they should tie in with a trench map reference. I can post an example tomorrow.

Simon.

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Andy,

I am not sure if your photograph shows the complete picture or whether it is cropped but there appears to be a number in the bottom left corner. Is the original a postcard or a full size photograph? If it is the latter, there is usually a date, a map reference and details of the Squadron which took the photograph. If these are present on the back they should tie in with a trench map reference. I can post an example tomorrow.

Simon.

Simon

I've got the original photo and what's posted shows the full image. It's got 42 on one corner and a "continental" 7 on the back. Might be German?

Thanks for your help

Andy

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Have a look at Tom Morgan's Hellfire-Corner for an aerial pic of Hill 60. I always thought the craters at Hill 60 were in a cluster and not in a line like in the pic shown by Andy,

cheers, Jon

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To me it looks like "The Bluff" the canal at the bottom may be the Comines-Ypres Canal. Hill 60 is nearby to the North East behind Battle Wood about 3 miles distant

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Have a look at Tom Morgan's Hellfire-Corner for an aerial pic of Hill 60. I always thought the craters at Hill 60 were in a cluster and not in a line like in the pic shown by Andy,

cheers, Jon

Thanks for the link Jon. Looking at the pic on the link, the railway line does look a bit like a canal, so maybe the canal in my pic is a railway line. If you follow me! But, the craters are probably going to be the key and they look nothing like Hill 60.

Andy

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Sure looks like the Bluff to Me.

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Bit out of left field, but it's not the Glory Hole at La Boisselle by any chance? The 'canal' could be the Albert-Bapaume road, and the large crater towards the top right could be Lochnagar.

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The location of the canal and 'railway' look similar to the Bluff - Hill 60 sector. Therefore this would show a mine series blown along Imperial trench (Molenbosstraat). The shape of the front line trench does look like Imperial Trench.

However, there is a notable double crater in the upper photograph which is not really the right position for the Caterpiller, and the Hill 60 craters are not present. The Bluff position does not show the craters that should be there either. The main road feature in the photograph, which runs between the double crater and the mine series, then heading left towards the canal doesn't fit in with the Hill 60-Bluff geography, and the road to Zillebeke is missing.

There isn't any evidence that I've seen that a series of mines were blown along the top of Imperial Trench, and I'd be very interested if anyone knows anything to the contrary. There is however a double crater at the head of The Ravine shown in a photograph of on p.24 of the great 3 Euro super book From The Bluff to Die Grosse Bastion (see my post on The Ravine), and if anyone has any information on this is would be highly welcome.

Hugh

post-19252-1205763460.jpg

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Hi all,

I can confirm, 100% sure, that this picture is not the area between the Bluff and Hill 60. I have researched what happened in that area quite intensively a few years ago. Dominiek Dendooven, who wrote the booklet on the Bluff that is being referenced here was at that time a collegue of mine. The craters do not fit whatsoever with what happened there.

I would look outside of the Ypres sector for identification of this picture.

Kind regards,

Bert

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In addition to my former post I have another theory.

I think the picture is to be situated in the Ypres region after all, but should be re-orientated (turned) a few times. Than you get the landscape that fits the area just SOuth of the railway Ypres-Kortrijk, including Hill 60 with the 3 smaller 1915 French craters on the eastern edge of the crater line and Zwarteleen and the 'Knoll Road' on the Southern edge of the pic. This should be a pre-june 1917 pic so no Caterpillar crater and big crater on top of Hill 60 yet.

Have a look at your picture, with this new orientation. I also included a trench map of Hill 60.

post-204-1205877699.jpg

post-204-1205877983.jpg

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Thanks everyone! I think Bert's nailed it. I did wonder about the three small craters - there's a good photo in Panoramas of the Western Front of Hill 60 taken from the Dump looking across the railway that shows the three craters. But matching to the trench map is the clincher!

Cheers

Andy

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You're welcome, was a good one to get the grey cells working. The picture doesn't necessarily need to be re-orientated, it is perfectly N-E orientated the way you posted it. But most war dairy scetches that show the area pre-june 1917 show it orientated E-N, with the British lines on the right, that's why I could only identify it after turning the pic around.

So you were right, it is Hill 60 as you initially thought!

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