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Beselare

5th Battn., Cameron Highlanders at Eaucourt l'Abbaye

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On 18th October 1916, the 5th Cameron Highlanders attacked Stag (or it could be Snag) Trench near Eaucourt l'Abbaye (close to Le Sars). In Peter Barton's book, The Somme, on p.224, there is a sketch map with reference to a trench called Snag Trench, which appears to run from a point called The Pimple to The Nose and then north-eastwards although it could refer to another nearby trench. However, I can find no reference to Stag or Snag trenches on the N&MP CDs. The trench section taken by the 5th Camerons was from Eaucourt l'Abbaye to the Le Barque Road. They started from the Flers Line south of Eaucourt l'Abbaye which is clearly marked on the trench maps. Can anyone help with the exact location of Stag or Snag trench?

Also I only have the above information on that battle - does anyone have more detail please? The 5th Camerons were part of the 26th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Divison.

Many thanks

Bob

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Hello Bob. You probably have this map, but just in case you don't.. And it is SNAG Trench

Aye Rob.

post-56-0-43415300-1326824631.jpg

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Thanks Rob - I didn't have a copy of this particular map. It is clearer than the one in Peter Barton's book in identifying the line of Snag Trench. I am going to try and identify it now on the N&MP CD.

Bob

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Bob. I have the narrative for the 5th Cameron covering the date you mentioned, PM me with your email addy and I will scan and send the details to you.

Aye Rob.

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Hi

Found this map in the history of the 8th Durham's

post-24996-0-85555700-1326929698.jpg

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To Connaught Ranger

Thank you very much for taking the time to find that map. I am now going to have some fun trying to trace it onto a modern map.

Bob

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Good luck :blink:

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Bob. I have the narrative for the 5th Cameron covering the date you mentioned, PM me with your email addy and I will scan and send the details to you.

Aye Rob.

Hi, Rob.

It looks like that the 5th Bn of the 9th Dvn was in my village (Overijse) 20km south of Brussels, in december 1918. I have photos of these troops and also of the "Cameron" shoulder tag they weared.

Do you have written evidence on the places these troops stayed after Nov 11th, 1918?

Thanks in advance and greetings

Yves

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Hi Beselare

I hope this helps a wee bit, it's from the History of the 8th Battalion, Black Watch.

"On the 17th, orders were received that the 5th Camerons would attack Snag Trench early the following day, together with one company of The Black Watch………….On the evening of the 17th the Camerons and B company (sic 8th Black Watch) concentrated in the front line, the remaining three companies (sic 8th BW) occupying the Flers line, now vacated by the reserve companies of the Camerons. At 3.40 a.m. on the 18th the Camerons attacked and captured Snag Trench. B company (sic 8th BW) did not actually take part in the attack, but remained in the Camerons old front line in support. During the day the Camerons consolidated their ground, and at 8.30 p.m. the 8th (sic BW) relieved them in the newly captured position, the line being held by D company on the right, A company in the centre and C on the left, with B in support in the original front line. The 21st Brigade, 30th Division, was on the right and the South African Brigade on the left.

The rest of the story is about 8th BW.

"At 5.30 a.m. on the 19th the Germans started a counter-attack by bombing; on the right D company easily held its own, an attack with a flamenwerfer being stopped by Private Tait with a well-aimed Mills bomb. On the left, things went badly, the South Africans were bombed out of their trench and crowded into C company's line, completely blocking the trench. The German bombers were close after them, and, hurling their bombs into the overcrowded trench, inflicted heavy casualties on C company. Second Lieutenant Anderson was killed while trying to organize a counter-attack, and the Company Commander and Company Sergeant-Major were both wounded. During the confusion which followed the Germans succeeded in capturing C company's line and pressed down onto A, but a counter-attack, headed by Second Lieutenants Campsie and Craven, drove them back; Craven was unfortunately killed and Campsie wounded.

At 7.30 a.m. captain Taylor brought up B company, which had been in support, and by vigorous bombing attacks succeeded in capturing C company's line, with the result that by noon the 8th had retaken the whole of its line, though touch with the South Africans was not regained until 5 p.m., when the whole position was reoccupied.

Throughout the day rain fell in torrents, and the trenches were in an appalling state, movement along them being practically impossible; in fact, the conditions under which this fighting took place could not have been worse, and its success in recapturing the position speaks highly for the determination and fighting spirit of the Battalion. In the History of the 9th Scottish Division the author major J. Ewing M.C., concludes the account of the fighting with the following words "The whole of the defences were then reorganized, but the enemy did not venture again to tackle The Black Watch." "

My Gt Uncle was in B Coy , 8th Black Watch.

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Hi, Rob.

It looks like that the 5th Bn of the 9th Dvn was in my village (Overijse) 20km south of Brussels, in december 1918. I have photos of these troops and also of the "Cameron" shoulder tag they weared.

Do you have written evidence on the places these troops stayed after Nov 11th, 1918?

Thanks in advance and greetings

Yves

Yves PM on its way...Rob

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Hi Bob, very interesting thread this, thanks for starting it!

I have a BWM medal to a 5th Cameron who died of wounds on the 26th October 1916 and is buried in Dernancourt Comm. Cemetary extension. I was just wondering if anyone has an opinion of whether its likely that he was wounded in the attack on Snag Trench on the 18th, or would he have been evacuated further back than this, given the time scale? Assuming that his wounds where such that he died of them, did dressing stations keep hold of men for that long or did they send them further back to field hospitals.

Is it more likely that my guy was just another victim of trench attrition, at some later date. Assuming that he survived long enough to get this fair down the evac chain, can we guess at when he might have been wounded?

Gordon.

JARDINE, W

Rank: Private Service No: S/18349 Date of Death: 26/10/1916 Age: 20 Regiment/Service: Cameron Highlanders 5th Bn. Grave Reference III. H. 48. Cemetery DERNANCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

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Hi Gordon

My apologies for not replying to your posting sooner - I simply missed it. When I am doing research for soldiers who died of wounds and trying to identify the date/place where they received their fatal injury, the logical place to start is the place where he is buried. If this cemetery is close to the front line situation, then I reckon you should look back in the diary two to four days from the date of death and see what action the battalion was involved in. In your case, we are looking at eight days difference. In 1916 XV Corps had their Main Dressing Station there and although I am not an expert on the RAMC, I would guess that no casualty would remain there for eight days. I would look closer to 26th October.

Bob

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Hi Bob, thanks for your tip. I tend to agree with you with, I don`t think they`d have kept him there that long either. But it just goes to show that guys were being killed and wounded, even when there wasn`t an offensive taking place. Gordon.

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