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Munster Alley, Pozieres


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#1 clarke

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:36 am

Just wondering if anyone has a photo of Munster Alley location as it looks today. Also, can anyone inform me on how this trench got its name?

Thanks in advance Clarke

#2 Sparky

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:25 pm

Hi Clarke,

Not sure how Munster Alley got it's name, but please find attached a photo of it's site taken in April 2010.

O.G.2. trench ran from just to the left of the mast (which stands just in front of the site of Pozieres Mill) and came towards the camera (or vice versa). Munster Alley ran off to the right more or less along the line of where the corn in the foreground of the photo changes to bare earth.

Hope this helps.

Mark

Attached Images

  • Nr Pozieres - Looking towards the site of O.G.2. and Munster Alley trenches..JPG


#3 clarke

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:41 am

Thanks for that Mark,

A great photo. It helps to give a better understanding of these events when one sees a visual of the area in which these horrible events took place. I am currently researching a group of postcards and the two brothers of the AIF, 2nd BN & 5th BN who sent them. They had both served on Gallipoli. The brother from the 5th Bn disappeared here on the 18th August 1916 during a heavy German bombardment of the positions held by his Battalion. His Bn diary states that 2 companies were in trenches between Bapaume Road & Munster Alley & the other two companies in reserve in Sunken Road.

As with so many families during this time this soldier's family suffered greatly. Three cousins, 2 in the 55th Bn & one in the 20th Bn all where killed/ disappeared in 1917. Not one of the four men mention has a known grave. The brother in the 2nd Bn who had already been wounded at Lone Pine, Gallipoli was wounded a second time at Flers in late 1916 & returned to Australian in early 1917.

Hoping that in the future I'll be able to visit this location. It will be a very moving visit.


Thanks again Clarke

#4 TerryL

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 06:51 pm

Hi Clarke,

Not sure how Munster Alley got it's name, but please find attached a photo of it's site taken in April 2010.

O.G.2. trench ran from just to the left of the mast (which stands just in front of the site of Pozieres Mill) and came towards the camera (or vice versa). Munster Alley ran off to the right more or less along the line of where the corn in the foreground of the photo changes to bare earth.

Hope this helps.

Mark

Hi

 

Many thanks for this photo.  May I ask a couple of questions?  I am researching the footsteps of my grandfather who was in the Durham Light Infantry and who fought at Munster Alley in July 1916, being injured, but who survived. I am planning a visit to see this area early in 2016. My question is whether it is possible to get closer to Munster Alley itself so I can get some close shots for the family album; perhaps a local farmer can help? - also whether this is a good time of the year to go (crop wise) or whether earlier would be better.  Many thanks, Terry L London



#5 Fattyowls

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 08:12 pm

Hi Terry and a warm welcome to the forum. The area you are interested in is reasonably accessible; I walked across it in late June and it is crossed by the Bazentin to Pozieres road and a farm track which runs from the back of Butterworth Farm towards Martinpuich. I've had a look at various trench maps I have and on the National Library of Scotland site but I can't find anything that names Munster Alley. I'm attaching a sniped trench map from August 1916 of the area superimposed on the modern aerial image of the area. The Voie Decanning is the D73 out to Bazentin and the track is between it and the Route de Baupaume. The windmill is the site of the memorial and the TV mast is just across the road.

 

Maybe one of the other chums can identify which of the trenches shown is Munster Alley; I think we are in the right ball park as the Americans say from Mark's description and photo above. I'll have a dig through my photos and see if I have anything which might help.

 

Pete.

 

Pozieres Trenches 15th August 1916.JPG



#6 Fattyowls

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 08:25 pm

Terry, just to follow up the previous post, two photographs. The first is the mast and the memorial taken from south of the memorial and the tower; it illustrates from the wheat in the field why late June is probably not the best time to visit.

 

Pozieres Windmill for Terry.JPG

 

The second photo is taken looking south east a little further on along the track. The two dark lines on the horizon are High Wood in the centre and Delville Wood to its right. The village of Bazentin is on the far right.

 

Pozieres to Martinpuich track for Terry.JPG

 

One more to follow.

 

Pete.



#7 Fattyowls

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 08:44 pm

Terry, this is the memorial at the rear of Butterworth Farm B&B to the composer George Butterworth, also of the DLI. My friend Mandy whose knowledge of places to stay on the battlefields is unparalled stayed at Butterworth Farm in July this year and spoke very highly of it. It looks very swanky from the back. If you stayed there you would be within a few hundred yards of where your grandfather was wounded 100 years ago. I stayed at the Silent Picket  about a mile and a half down the track I mentioned in the village of Martinpuich; John and Jennie Knight are excellent hosts and very knowledgeable. Jennie's cooking is superb and her breakfasts are stupendous. I've not been able to face an English croissant since I stayed there.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Pete.

 

Butterworth Memorial for Terry.JPG



#8 TerryL

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:04 pm

Hi

 

Many thanks for all this (very prompt) information and the map especially ;  Any more photos (or ideas) to help locate Munster Alley would be great.  Thanks also for the High Wood photo; apparently my grandfather also fought there but I am still trying to find out when.  I am planning a trip in Feb/ early March no later) to see this area in depth. I will contact Butterworth farm as suggested. Again thanks so much;  best wishes  T



#9 Fattyowls

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 07:37 pm

Terry, check out post 13 in this post for the position of Munster Alley. Top right hand corner of the map.

 

Pete.



#10 Nigel Cave

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:06 pm

Graham Keech's Pozieres in the Battleground Europe series ID's Munster alley. Alas, I have not got my copy handy.



#11 Fattyowls

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 10:37 pm

Nigel

 

I've got my copy somewhere; I'll dig it out (probably literally) if Terry needs more info. If I've not replied in a couple of days it's because I'm trapped under a pile of Battleground Europe titles. From walking the area in late June I think he can get right to the spot as part of the area was fallow if memory serves. March seems a good time to go from what the field walkers like TT say.

 

Pete.



#12 TerryL

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 02:56 pm

Many thanks to all;  I have found this available - at least the site says so - and have bought it.  Will keep fingers crossed. (In a worst case I will get it on a Kindle).

 

 

 

Pete - many thanks for the link to the attached map.  I am hoping that with more research I can get an idea of where point 41 was ( mentioned a lot in the war diary).  Also Butterworth farms looks really good and there are a lot of excellent reports. Will be in contact with it.



#13 Fattyowls

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 07:18 pm

Terry, there is a map on page 96 of Graham Keech's book which places Point 41 at the western end of Munster Alley where it meets OG2. On the map posted in the other thread it is just to the left of the blue arrow identifying OG2 where Munster Alley splits into two.

 

Pete.



#14 TerryL

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:11 pm

Thanks - I see where it is thanks.  (The Graham Keech book was apparently sent to me yesterday and I am looking forward to reading it).

 

Terry 



#15 Fattyowls

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:08 pm

Thanks - I see where it is thanks.  (The Graham Keech book was apparently sent to me yesterday and I am looking forward to reading it).

 

Terry 

 

Terry, my pleasure. It's been really useful for me as I happened to find an account of an action I am interested in in Graham Keech's book. One of my heroes, Leigh Roose won the MM on the other side of Pozieres on 6th August 1916 and I found that the book contains a section from the Royal Fusiliers history which mentions him by name. Like you I have been able to place the action from the maps in the book.

 

Pete.



#16 TerryL

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 02:41 pm

Book has just arrived; can't wait to get into it; again, thanks.  Hope I can get to point 41 and take some photos.

 

Terry



#17 Fattyowls

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:43 pm

Terry, let us know how you get on.

 

Pete.



#18 TerryL

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:12 pm

Hi. I there right now. Fascinating. Staying at the farm as recommended. The guide used GPS superimposed on the trench map so we walked along some of the exact trenches: Torr trench, Munster Alley, OG2 etc. Will send more details when I am back.

#19 Michelle Young

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:31 pm

Glad that Butterworth Farm is up to snuff, had a very enjoyable stay there last year

Michelle

#20 mebu

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 11:11 am

Terry, Point 41 is a reference to a trench junction, in this case Munster Alley and OG (Old German)2.  The junctions were important geographical features. The system was a way of shortening full map references, the full reference in this case, point 41, is 57D SE4 X5b 4.1.  If you look at the square 5b, which is marked in tenths, it is 4 along and 1 up. 

 

Hope this helps, Peter



#21 TerryL

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 04:13 pm

Peter, Many thanks for this.

 

I was there on Monday afternoon and took various photos. The excellent guide (David from enquiries@number56.co.uk) who was recommended by Marie and Bernard at Butterworth Farm had a GPS on his tablet so were able to walk to exactly point 41 and take some photos. (Following suggestions from the forum I went before the crops started to grow and this was certainly good advice in that the farmer agreed to access because there were no crops to damage and also because, generally, one can get a much better idea of the land and its relatives highs and lows if nothing is growing. 

 

One question - perhaps the reference may clarify this. Munster Alley seems to split as it approached OG2 - does the reference tell us which of the branches comes to point  41?



#22 TerryL

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 04:16 pm

Pete and Michelle

 

I had a great time at Butterworth farm. Bernard and Marie are charming and it was great to stay there. Marie even gave me some home made cake for the trip home.

 

As you say, it is so close to Munster Alley that one could walk there in a few minutes



#23 Michelle Young

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 04:21 pm

Marie gave us some cake for our onward journey too. The breakfast is pretty epic too. Would like to go back. We were there on one of the hottest days of last year and our room was so cool and fresh after the scorching heat

Michelle