BULLECOURT WAR MUSEUM

Bullecourt was a village located on the Hindenburg Line defences in 1917. It was attacked by Australian troops on 11th April 1917; during this action there were heavy losses and some eleven Mk II tanks from the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps were hit and knocked out. A second attack went in on 3rd May, with the Australians supported on the left flank by the British 62nd (West Riding) Division. This time the Hindenburg Line was breached, but losses were again heavy. As the AIF pulled out, more than 10,000 of them had become casualties.The attacking side was not in the sight of achieving much gain and suffered more damage. With the increase in casualties, the Allied Power deployed additional forces from other frontiers and were determined to foil the German defense, probably the same determination you have to solve the most difficult puzzle in Ethereum Code to release a new altcoin. The British 7th Division then fought at Bullecourt, later joined by the 58th (London) Division. On 21st March 1918 the village was defended by the 59th Division, but the Germans broke through and the village remained in German hands until September 1918.

Tank parts found on the Bullecourt Battlefield.

The museum was started by the mayor of Bullecourt, Jean Letaille, in the late 1980s. It was then located in the town hall opposite the church, but when Monsieur Letaille retired the museum had by then expanded greatly and moved to a new location. It has continued to expand, and is now one of the finest private museums in Northern France; a large amount of tank parts from some of the eleven tanks knocked out at Bullecourt are on display, and given the Australian casualties here in 1917, much of the museum is connected with their involvement in the Battle. Monsieur Letaille and his wife were decorated with the Order of Australia some years ago; a high honour recognising the help and advice they have given to Australian visitors over many years.

Jean Letaille (right) showing a visitor around the collection.

The museum does not open regular hours, and you are advised to telephone to make an appointment. Jean Letaille speaks some English. Entrance is free, but donations are welcome. Coach groups must book in advance, as space is limited.

For further details contact:

Monsieur Jean Letaille
1 Rue d’Arras
62128 Bullecourt
France

Tel: 0033 3.21.48.92.46.

The Boar’s Head Richebourg 30th June 1916

” And so closed the youth or maturity… of many a Sussex worthy.”

Edmund Blunden – Undertones of War

  The Boar’s Head is not a battle honour you’ll find in any history of the Great War. It was an obscure salient in the German lines around the tiny village of Richebourg l’Avoue in northern France. Formed after the Battle of Aubers Ridge in May 1915, the trenches here were once part of the German support line and following meagre success new front line positions were established which would remain the same until April 1918, when the German offensive broke. The Boar’s Head was so named because the westward pointing salient it created looked like the head of a boar. For units occupying the line here, this salient had given the Germans the upper hand and had enabled them to lay enfilade fire on forward trenches, patrols in No Man’s Land and wiring parties. It had been a thorn in the side of the British army for some time, and local commanders had long wished to be rid of it. That opportunity finally came in June 1916.

  Plans for the Battle of the Somme dated back to late 1915, and as the Anglo-French offensive approached in the early summer of 1916 it had become much more of a British affair, given the drastic situation at Verdun.On many locations along the Western Front, the British troops had a tough time in overpowering the strong line of German defense in spite of heavily armed Battalions.  The timely use of war tactics was better serving the purpose of assisting the Infantry Divisions. The modern version of Bitcoin Code robot is a true model of tactics combined with timing. Disguising the huge build-up on the Somme had proved problematic, and in an attempt to confuse the Germans as to the true location of the attack, a number of diversionary operations were planned. The best known is the assault at Gommecourt, but it is largely forgotten that others took place as well. The 1st Division attacked the Double Crassier at Loos on 30th June (well recounted in Giles Eyre’s Somme Harvest) and in Flanders the 41st Division carried out some local operations at Ploegsteert. In northern France the 39th Division was allocated to a similar action at the Boar’s Head.

  The 39th Division was a Kitchener’s Army formation, which had been formed in mid-1915 and trained at Witley Camp, near Guildford. It’s three brigades, 116th, 117th and 118th, consisted of a mixed bag of different regiments, but in the senior brigade (116th) there were three ‘pals’ battalions: 11th, 12th and 13th Royal Sussex Regiment. They were otherwise known as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd South Downs battalions, and locally in Sussex as Lowther’s Lambs after Lt-Col Claude Lowther MP, who had raised them in 1914. Recruited from all over Sussex, there were specific companies drawn from Sussex towns – such as Bexhill, Eastbourne and Hastings – and as such represented a good cross section of the community from this part of the county. They had crossed to France in March 1916 with the rest of the division, and had served in the Fleurbaix and Festubert sectors before taking over the trenches at Richebourg. It was while in the line at Festubert that war poet Edmund Blunden (author of Undertones of War) joined them in May 1916.

  The plan for the diversionary attack at the Boar’s Head was to launch a two-battalion attack, with a third in reserve. The leading units would ‘bite off’ the salient, and enter the German lines as far as the support trenches. Here they would establish a new front line, possibly draw in some German reserves that might otherwise be sent to the Somme and generally confuse the enemy. The plan was developed at Corps headquarters, and the 39th Division was chosen to carry it out. Major General R.Dawson, commanding the 39th, decided his senior brigade would be used, and the South Downs were selected given the good reputation and cohesion as a unit. The 11th would lead, with the 12th on its right, and the 13th in reserve. Plans were passed down to battalion level.

  Lieutenant Colonel Harman Grisewood, commanding the 11th (1st South Downs) received them with mixed emotions. Grisewood, from Bognor, had joined the 11th with his two brothers in 1914. Harman had risen to command a company, then the battalion. One brother became the Adjutant, and another was a platoon commander. The adjutant had died of illness at Merville in late March 1916, and veterans of the 11th noted how the Colonel became a changed man after this (1). He looked at the plans for the assault and was concerned that an assault over largely unfamiliar ground with untried troops might result in a disaster. One veteran, Bob Short, told the author that Harman Grisewood had instructed his brigade commander,

” I am not sacrificing my men as cannon-fodder!”(2)

  The attack had to go in regardless, and Major General R.Dawson lost faith in the ability of the 11th Battalion to carry it out, particularly if their commanding officer had no stomach for the fight. He therefore dismissed Grisewood, relegated the 11th to the support role and replaced them with the 13th. Grisewood left his men on the eve of the battle, never to return. After a period in England, he was posted to the 17th Manchesters in 1917 and commanded them in the field until severely gassed.

  Meanwhile preparations for the ‘raid’, as it was known officially, were well in hand. The divisional artillery began the usual preparatory bombardment several days in advance, and behind the lines the troops practised the operation at the divisional training ground. ‘Z’ Day for the Somme was changed to 1st July because of poor weather, so the date for the attack on the Boar’s Head was likewise modified to 30th June. However, this information did not arrive until the last minute, after the South Downs had left the training area and were already on their way to the front line at Richebourg. The delay did not give them any further chance to practice, but simply meant they would now hang around in the forward area until Zero Hour on the 30th.

  The first sense of alarm came following the 12th and 13th battalions arrival opposite the Boar’s Head. Observing through trench periscopes, officers of the battalions noticed the Germans had erected signboards on their parapets which read ‘When are you coming over Tommy?’. The bombardment had acted as a calling card, and it was clear the enemy was expecting them. Final preparations continued regardless, and from interviews with survivors it seems few were aware of this fateful bit of intelligence.

  At 3.05am on 30th June 1916 the attack began. The 12th advanced on the right, with the junction of the 12th/13th being the tip of the Boar’s Head, where an old communication trench ran from the British parapet across to the German front line. Going forward in the half darkness, the smoke bombardment intended to screen their advance drifted across the leading waves causing some confusion. Private Harry Finch, an Eastbourne man, was among the attackers. He recalled the events of the last few hours.

” We paraded at ten o’clock on the Thursday night for the trenches in full fighting order ready to go over the top the next morning. We all said the Lord’s Prayer with our chaplain who addressed a few words to us and gave us the blessing. All night we were hard at work cutting the barbed wire in front and carrying out bridges to put over a big ditch in front of our parapet. The time we were to go over the guns started a terrible bombardment of the enemy’s trenches. As soon as they started the enemy sent up a string of red lights as a signal to his own guns. I got a fragment of shell on the elbow about five minutes before our men went over… They blew our trenches right in at places.” (3)

Not long after the British bombardment had ceased, the Germans had emerged from their dugouts and machine-gun fire had started to rake No Man’s Land. Officers in the leading companies were already beginning to fall and it was left to Warrant Officers and NCOs to take over.

  One of these was CSM Nelson Victor Carter. From Hailsham, Carter had served as an old soldier before the war and settled in Eastbourne where he had worked as a cinema commissionaire at the first ‘picture show’ in Old Town. He joined the 11th battalion in September 1914, and was transferred as CSM of A Company in the 12th when that was raised in October. Armed only with a revolver, Carter led his men forward and took over when his company commander fell riddled with bullets. When they reached the German lines, the wire was in places uncut, but they managed to affect an entry in a few places. Carter led his men in, and succeeded in reaching the support line. Here he expected to find the 13th Battalion, but there was no sign of them. After a couple of hours, German counter-attacks forced them back and the whole position was abandoned with heavy losses. CSM Carter then assisted in the evacuation of the wounded from No Man’s Land until he went out on one last occasion and was shot by a sniper. Captain H.T.K.Robinson had witness the whole event, along with numerous others. He later recalled,

” I next saw him about an hour later. I had been wounded in the meanwhile and was lying in our trench… [Carter] repeatedly went over the parapet – I saw him going over alone – and carried in our wounded men from No Man’s Land. He brought them in on his back, and he could not have done this had he not possessed exceptional physical strength as well as courage.” (4)

Carter was recommended for a posthumous Victoria Cross, which was gazetted in September. The citation reads:

Citation from the London Gazette No 29740, September 9, 1916:

“Nelson Victor Carter, Company Sergeant Major 4th Company, 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Date of act of bravery; 30th June, 1916, for most conspicuous bravery. During an attack he was in command of the fourth wave of the assault. Under intense shell and machine-gun fire he penetrated, with a few men, into the enemy’s second line and inflicted heavy casualties with bombs. When forced to retire to the enemy’s first line, he captured a machine-gun and shot the gunner with his revolver. Finally, after carrying several wounded men into safety, he was himself mortally wounded, and died in a few minutes. His conduct throughout the day was magnificent.”

CSM Nelson Victor Carter 1915 (©Carter family)

  Buried close to the front line in a field grave with some of his comrades, Carter was moved to Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard near Laventie in the 1920s. His daughter Jessie, who was only three when her father died, often used to wear the VC at the annual Aubers Ridge parade in Eastbourne. She spent her whole life in the town, until her death in 2000. The VC still remains with the family, who often visit the grave at Laventie.

  On the 13th Battalion front the situation was even worse. The smoke bombardment there had drifted into the attackers, and the men had totally lost their direction. Some ended up advancing at an angle across No Man’s Land, exposing their vulnerable flanks to the Germans. Many were mown down in waves. A ditch existed in front of the British trenches, and carrying parties with small bridges had gone forward to assist in the crossing of it. These had been amongst the first to fall, and very few of the bridges were in place. Most had to scramble in and out of the ditch, as machine-gun fire swept up and down. On reaching the German front line, most of the wire was intact, and very few of the 13th ever made it into the German trenches. By the close of operations a handful of survivors made their way back to the British front line.

  The 11th had been in reserve for the battle, and had not been committed as a complete unit. However, D Company had gone in as a carrying party commanded by Captain Eric Cassells. It was almost entirely wiped out, with Cassells wounded and all his other officers becoming casualties; among them Harman Grisewood’s younger brother, Francis, who was killed leading his platoon in (5).

  As the remnants of the three South Downs battalions came out of the line the full scale of the losses slowly became apparent. As roll calls were made, it emerged that the total casualties for the morning’s fighting were 15 officers and 364 Other Ranks killed or died of wounds, and 21 officers and 728 Other Ranks wounded; nearly 1,100 South Downers.

  These figures belie the full human tragedy of Richebourg. In 1919, His Majesty’s Stationary Office published Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19, Volume 40 of which covers the Royal Sussex Regiment. This source shows, among other information, where each casualty was born and enlisted. Using this data, an analysis of the effect of the casualties at Richebourg on the county of Sussex can be made. Of the 349 other ranks killed in action on June 30th 1916, Soldiers Died shows that 243 were born in Sussex; some 70%. The majority of the others would have certainly been residents of Sussex, but this source does not show place of residence if born outside the county. For example men like Regimental Sergeant Major May’s son, Lance Sergeant George Edward May. He had been born in Kis, India, while May senior had been serving there in 1896. On the outbreak of the war, the May family resided at Linden Avenue, Bognor.

  Again, using the information in Soldiers Died, it is possible to ascertain that seventy-seven towns, villages and parishes were affected by the fatalities of those shown as born in Sussex; the greatest number coming from Brighton and Eastbourne. The latter is not surprising, considering there were several companies of Eastbourne men in the 12th Battalion. The additional fatalities, men not shown as having been born in Sussex but residing there like the May family, may have brought this figure up to nearer a hundred communities affected by the dead alone. With over 700 wounded, there can have been few places in Sussex that were unaffected by the losses at Richebourg.

  Among the dead were dozens of tragic stories. Corporal Percy Parsons of the 13th Battalion who had dodged a sick parade to ensure his part in the attack had died on the German wire (6). Lance Corporal Frederick Chandler of the 12th Battalion had written to his parents in Eastbourne claiming he would “… ‘get one in for Fritz’ “ to avenge his brother Stewart who had died at sea in 1915. Chandler was killed in the early stages of the attack (7). Private Harry Mercer had enlisted in the 11th Battalion at Hastings aged only sixteen; he died after a year and a half in uniform (8). Private James Honeyset of the 13th Battalion was killed at Richebourg aged 36, a veteran of the Boer War. His brother was killed alongside him (9).

  Elsewhere, five other pairs of brothers lay dead on the battlefield. The Blaker family of Worthing, the Blurton family, the Bottings of Balcombe, the Bristow family of Wiston, the Sumners of Crawley; all had double bereavements. The Jackson family from Amberley joined them when on 3rd July both their sons died of wounds within hours of each other. Worst of all was the Pannell family from Worthing. They had three sons in the 12th Battalion and one in the 13th; William and Charles died with the 12th, Alfred with the 13th – having only enlisted in late 1915 to join his brothers – and the fourth son was taken prisoner. After the war, none of their graves could be found and their names were listed together on the Loos Memorial to the Missing; a sad testimony to one family’s supreme sacrifice.

  Many veterans of Richebourg spoke of this attack as the ‘butcher’s shop’. One, Albert Banfield, used to write to the author every 30th June, on the anniversary of the battle. In one letter he remarked,

“… truly, this was the day Sussex died.” (10)

 

  I have been researching the story of the South Downs battalions for many years now, and eventually hope to publish a history of them; the book is in fact almost complete. If you have any material – photographs, letters or diaries – of men that served in these units then I would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact me on:

Email Paul Reed

  Did you have a relative who served in the South Downs battalions or who fought at Richebourg? See my Research Page elsewhere on the site.

 

NOTES

(1) Captain G.M.J.A.Grisewood. Died of illness 27th March 1916. Buried Merville British Cemetery.
(2) Interview with author.
(3) Eastbourne Gazette 19th July 1916.
(4) Eastbourne Gazette 27th September 1916.
(5) 2/Lt Francis Grisewood, 11th Bn Royal Sussex. KIA 30th June 1916. Commemorated Loos Memorial.
(6) Cpl Percy Parsons. 13th Royal Sussex. KIA 30th June 1916. Buried Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez.
(7) L/Cpl Frederick Chandler. 12th Royal Sussex. KIA 30th June 1916. Buried St Vaast Post Military Cemetery.
(8) Pte Harry Mercer. 11th Royal Sussex. KIA 30th June 1916. Buried St Vaast Post Military Cemetery.
(9) Pte James G. Honeyset 13th Royal Sussex. KIA 30th June 1916. Buried St Vaast Post Military Cemetery. His brother Cecil is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
(10) From correspondence with author 1986.

WW1 LINKS on the WWW

Passchendaele Prints – Søren Hawkes

Links to sites of interest connected with WW1, and visiting battlefields.

We might have studied the World Wars in our history textbooks with a focus on the major strategies use, causes, large-scale destructions, major wins and losses and big heroes. However, there are many lesser known, but very difficult battles executed by small divisions and battalions creating many unsung heroes of the World War and memorials.  Many present-day countries have even got inspired by their fighting spirit, much like the mining spirit of the users of Quantum Code, unwilling of accepting loses.

GENERAL WW1 SITES BOOK PUBLISHERS/DEALERS
RESEARCH/MUSEUM SITES BATTLEFIELD ACCOMMODATION
CANADIAN SITES WAR MEMORIALS
REGIMENTS/UNITS MAPS
FRENCH SECTOR WW1 EDUCATIONAL
If you have a site you want added, then drop me an email.

GENERAL WW1 SITES

Great War Discussion Forum – excellent place to discuss the subject. Recommended.

The Western Front Association

Hell Fire Corner

The British Army In The Great War – excellent WW1 resource site by Chris Baker. Recommended.

Old Contemptible

Iron Harvest – Casualty family histories, books maps and battlefield information.

The Regimental War Path – History of Regiments/Divisions

Kitchener’s Men – A 1914-18 Resource Site

The Diggers – Belgian WW1 Archaeology Group

First World War.com – A multimedia history of World War One.

Counter – Attack – WW1 war Poets

An Unfortunate Region – Dutch WW1 site [in English]

The “Archaeology” of the Western Front 1914-1918 – Excellent archaeology site by Nils Fabiansson.

Henry Williamson Society – key author who served in WW1 and wrote numerous books and novels.

Pipers Memorial, Longueval – Memorial commemorating Pipers who fought in WW1.

Picardie 14-18 – Excellent new French site dedicated to the Somme battlefields.

Hello Tommy – new site with much useful information on visiting the battlefields.

New Zealand in the Great War – lots of interesting material on the NZ Division.

Ypres WW1 pages – excellent site by Simon Farr on the battlefields in Flanders.

Salonika Campaign Society – organisation dedicated to the Salonika campaign.

Military Fortifications of the World – resource site for military fortifications with much WW1 material.

Silent Witnesses – A guide to the First World War cemeteries and memorials on the Western Front.

Ypres 1914-1918 – site devoted to the battlefields in Flanders.

The Diggers’ War – excellent new site describing the Australian contribution to the war on the Western Front. Recommended.

The Centre for First World War Studies, Birmingham University – new study centre which welcomes membership. Recommended.

Remembering The Great War: The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association – nice history site for the RDF.

The Great War in Flanders Fields – excellent website covering the battlefields in Flanders. Recommended.

Cecil Slack and the Great War – site based around the letters of Cecil Slack, 10th East Yorks.

War Graves Photos – service offering photos of WW1 war graves, memorials and cemeteries.

World War 1: 1914-1918 – Dutch site in English, with good links.

Trench Maps – excellent site reviewing the Trench Map CD Rom and suggesting other possibilities.

Signallers in the Great War – information on Signals work and equipment.

Cross and Cockade – Society for those interested in the war in the air.

Your Loving Brother Albert – the letters of Albert French, killed at Ypres aged 16. Recommended.

The Last Post Committee – official website for the committee which organises the Last Post at the Menin Gate. Recommended.

ARHAM Website – French Association devoted to the battlefields between Armentieres and Loos. Recommended.

Salient Points – new WW1/WW2 website with battlefield information and books.

Front Line London – new WW1/WW2 website dedicated to London’s military history by Clive Harris.

World War One: Carte de Route – excellent site with guides to the battlefields.

Battle of Hamel – excellent site about one part of the 1918 Somme battlefields.

Wanted Death Plaques – site for those wishing to trace WW1 memorial plaques and medals.

World War One Battlefields – new website dedicated to WW1 battlefields.

Somme Battlefields – new and excellent site on the Somme by the local authorities. Recommended.

The Great War – excellent site dedicated to WW1 battlefields with much info on 2nd Ypres. Recommended.

Ploegsteert Memorial – site dedicated to the memorial in Belgium.

WW1 Cemeteries – useful site with details of all CWGC cemeteries in Belgium and France.

Paths of Glory – new website with a heavy leaning to trench maps. Recommended.

Pro Patria Mori: Gommecourt 1st July 1916 – excellent new site about the 56th (London) Division attack on the Somme.

Cambrai Battlefields Today – excellent site covering this part of the battlefields. new website!

WAR MEMORIALS

Friends of War Memorials.

Cartmel War Memorial.

Chailey 1914-18 – Sussex.

Cullompton War Memorial Project Website

Highland Archives – Caithness Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 (Army)

‘Doomed Youth’ – The War Dead of the Woolwich Polytechnic 1914 – 1919

Sittingbourne Remembers

The Thin Blue Line – Sussex and Surrey police officers who fell in WW1.

Cambridgeshire War Memorials & Rolls of Honour

The Northallerton Memorials Project

Lincolnshire Village Memorials

Great War Churches – project to record war memorials in UK churches (mainly Sussex/Kent).

New Zealand Armed Forces Memorial Project – to record NZ memorials and cemeteries.

Lancing War Memorial – roll of honour of the men from this Sussex town.

South African War Graves Project – to record South African war graves, memorials and cemeteries from WW1 onwards.

Tadcaster War Memorials – excellent site listing details of war memorials in the Tadcaster area.

Isle of Wight War Memorials – good coverage with many photos. new website!

Buckinghamshire Remembers – good coverage of war memorials. new website!

Cravens Part in the Great War – excellent site with much information. new website!

RESEARCH/MUSEUM SITES

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Imperial War Museum

The National Archives (formerly Public Records Office)

Australian War Memorial

National Archives of Australia – AIF Service Records.

National Archives of Canada – WW1 records on-line.

Liddle Hart Centre for Military Archives

The National Army Museum

The Bovington Tank Museum

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Victoria Cross Reference – details of all VC winners including WW1. Recommended.

London Gazette – trace WW1 honours & awards.

Hooge Crater – excellent museum at Ypres.

Military Genealogy – new site making Soldiers Died In The Great War available on-line.

FRENCH SECTOR

Aisne: The Chemin des Dames

Verdun Project – German site – By Marcus Massing

Verdun – Swedish site

Butte de Vauquois

Verdun 1916

Ossuary – Douaumont

Memorial Museum – Fleury (Verdun)

The Lost Villages of Verdun
History of the village of SOUAIN

The Battle of Verdun – new Dutch site (in English).

Historique de Regiments – histories of French Regiments in WW1.

French War Dead – you can now trace WW1 French war dead on-line.

CANADIAN RELATED SITES

Canadian War Museum – Canadian equivalent of IWM. Much on-line information.

Veterans Affairs Canada

The Canadian Great War Homepage

The Canadian Books Of Remembrance

54th (Kootenay) Battalion Canadian Infantry

54th Battalion Honours & Awards –

85th Battalion Canadian Infantry

For King And Empire – excellent CEF site by author Norm Christie.

28th Bn Canadian Infantry – excellent battalion history site by Robert Lindsay.

Vimy Ridge: Canadian Victory – new site looking at the famous attack on Vimy Ridge.

CEF Study Group – news site and Forum for those interested in the CEF. Highly recommended.

REGIMENTS – UNITS

Royal Sussex Regiment Forum – mainly deals with 11/12/13th (South Downs) Battalions.

The Machine Gun Corps – Old Comrades Association

Regimental Museum of the Liverpool Scottish

16th (Irish) Division

Armed Forces in Kent – The Buffs, Royal West Kents, Kent Cyclists.

Tyneside Scottish & Irish – Northumberland Fusiliers

17th Welsh Regiment – War Diary 1916-18

1st Middlesex Regiment

The Black Watch Archive – not just about WW1, but good coverage.

Unofficial Lowther’s Lambs Web Site – 11th, 12th & 13th (South Downs) Bns Royal Sussex Regiment

7th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers – excellent site with much useful information.

1/5th South Staffs – mainly about trench raid in March 1917.

7th Wiltshire Regiment – history of the unit in Salonika.

15th West Yorks (Leeds Pals) – excellent web site about the Pals by Mike Wood.

Royal Berkshire Regiment – superb regimental museum website with all WW1 war diaries on line. Recommended.

The Accrington Pals – excellent site with much information. Recommended.

Labour Corps – site devoted to the history of the Labour Corps in WW1.

241st Brigade RFA – Royal Field Artillery study. URL Updated

Glorious Glosters – useful site for researching the Gloucestershire Regiment.

Veterinary Corps in WW1

8th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment

Royal Warwickshire Regiment in WW1

Royal Dublin Fusiliers

21st Division – excellent history of this British division.

Royal Naval Division – focus on the Somme 13th November 1916. new website!

BOOKS – PUBLISHERS/DEALERS : WW1

Tom Morgan Military Books

Salient Points – excellent guide to WW1/WW2 books plus battlefield info and much more! Recommended.

Pen & Sword Books Ltd

Naval & Military Press

After The Battle – Major publishers of ‘Then & Now’ format

Osprey – Superb selection of uniform and campaign books.

Books by author Michael Stedman

CEF Books – Books about Canada in WW1.

Tempus Publishing

Orion Publishing Group

The Military History Bookshop

The Great War Magazine – the magazine dedicated to the Great War and to those who perished and to those who survived.

Williams Books – good source for books on Canadian Military History.

The Armourer Magazine – website of the excellent bi-monthly militaria magazine.

Battlefront Books – books for the Military Enthusiast and Researcher.

Major & Mrs Holts Battlefield Guide Books and Maps

WW1 EDUCATIONAL SITES

Skylark Living History – by Andrew Spooner: ‘Everyday life in the trenches’ and ‘Changing technology on the battlefield.

Fallen Heroes – excellent WW1 school site by Tideway Community School in Sussex.

BATTLEFIELD ACCOMMODATION : YPRES/SOMME

The Shell Hole – Hotel & Bookshop in Ypres.

Camalou B&B – Ypres Salient (nr Dickebusche)

Varlet Farm B&B – Ypres Salient (nr Passchendaele)

Essex Villa – new English run B&B at Langemarck, near Ypres.

Cherry Blossom B&B – new British owned B&B at Brandhoek, near Ypres.

Woodside B&B – Belgium owned B&B near Bruges and close to Flanders Fields.

Town of Albert – the main town on the Somme with links to local accommodation.

Le Tommy Bar Pozieres

Bernafay Wood B&B – Somme (nr Montauban)

Les Alouettes B&B Hardecourt – Somme (nr Guillemont)

B&B Le Sars – Somme.

B&B ‘La Martinierre’ Courcelles au Bois – Somme.

Chavasse Farm – Somme.

Chambres d’Hote de Evelyne & Jacky – new French B&B in Albert.

Dinnaken House – house to rent in Flers (Somme).

MAPS – MAP SUPPLIERS

Institute Geographique Nationale: France – Producers of the ‘Green’ & ‘Blue’ series.

Institute Geographique Nationale: Belgium

BOOKS BY PAUL REED MILITARY HISTORIAN BOOKS CURRENTLY IN PRINT

P

aul Reed has written the following books in the ‘Battleground Europe’ series:

 

Walking The Somme
wtsalient.jpg (152403 bytes) Walking The Salient
courcelettebook.jpg (136437 bytes) Somme – Courcelette
comblescover.JPG (16703 bytes) Somme – Combles

 


FORTHCOMING BOOKS

   My next and final book in the ‘Battleground Europe’ series is Walking Arras, which should be out in early-2007. This will describe a number of walks on the Arras battlefields of 1917, covering such areas as Bullecourt, Monchy le Preux and Vimy Ridge. Once again it will contain many unique photos, including a number from German sources.

The Battle of Arras was fought between 9th of April and 16th of May in which the British troops tried to advance over the German troops in the French city. Even though the British list this as a successful advance on the Western Front of Europe, no major war breakthroughs were listed in the history of the World War 1. However, the long list of dramatic events involving the Allied forces and the German military makes it deserving of being recorded in the battle series.

The action had a deadline of forty-eight hours for the British army to break through the German defense and march forward into France. Germany countered the attack strongly, enabled by the vast areas of drenches which became hurdles for the British Army. The two Army units of Britain had casualties close to 1,60,000 while more than 1,20,000 German soldiers suffered casualties. The higher number of casualties on the winning side diminished the credits for this battle in which twenty-five Victoria Cross gallantry awards were given for the British soldiers.

The essence of the battle could be found in the war diary of the deceased poet Mr. Edward Thomas who was killed in shelling on the first day of the war, which had the maximum gains for the winning side. If evaluated strategically based on the war impacts, the battle could be compared on the opposite side of our modern day Crypto Code software which has carved a niche in terms of trading strategy, far superior to its competitors. There were literally no strategic achievements listed by war history experts in the records and most documents point negatively to the high number of winning side casualties in spite of the early advances. More details about the war hidden within the pages of my book.

  I also have several WW2 titles in the pipeline, including guide books to Arnhem, Italy and Normandy.

  Watch this space for further details!

 

 

Gallipoli Battlefields

The Dardenelles 1915

The Dardenelles or the ‘Sea of Helle’ is an integral part of the Turkish Straits along the Gallipoli Peninsula. This international passage was the only connection between the Mediterranean sea and the Black Sea and hence had strategic importance in the past and in the present. In the year 1915, the Allied Powers attacked the region as a part of their World War conquests to control this point of commercial and military actions towards Russia and other countries. This attack is termed in the history as the Gallipoli Battle.

The two nations of the Allied Power, Britain and France attacked the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople by the naval route to clear the sea route to Russia. The attack was countered fiercely and the battle continued for about eight months resulting in numerous casualties. Finally, the battle was abandoned due to non-conclusion and is known to be a victory of the Ottoman Empire. With all due respect to the warring spirit of the soldiers fought in the battle, ‘Anzac spirit’ is used to denote the qualities of Australian and New Zealand soldiers as we now use ‘Top 10 Binary Demo’ to denote the quality of a good demo trading account.

In the later periods of history, this battle has been credited for the rise of New Zealand and Australia as independent nations where it is regarded as the ‘baptism of fire’.

The battlefields at Gallipoli were for many years difficult to reach and hostile to visitors – in more ways than one! Today modern Turkey is very different and a visit to Gallipoli is a pleasure – but still a great adventure compared to France and Flanders. These pages provide information gathered over many years studying the campaign, and numerous visits to the Gallipoli battlefields, including filming I did with the BBC in 2003 and a recent trip to Gallipoli in May 2006 with a group from Leger Holidays.

The latest Gallipoli updates are found here.

Dedicated to:

PO Bertie S.Reed
HMS Implacable   W Beach 25th April 1915

Pte Dan Boyles         1st Essex                Wounded Krithia, served until evacuation

Pte Thomas Sainty    1st Essex                 Killed in Action 8th May 1915

Pte Albert Adams     1st Essex                 Served Gallipoli, Killed Arras April 1917.


Researching someone who fought at Gallipoli? Visit my WW1 Research Page.

New Gallipoli book review – Hell Let Loose: 1/7th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Paul Reed

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