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  #1  
Old 01-02-16, 01:06 PM
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Default A modest pilgrimage to Mametz Wood and Yzer Canal

Among a lot of RWF items I recently purchased was a type written account of the journey that two members of 16 platoon, "D" company 15/RWF took to return to the site of some of the most important actions in which 15/RWF had been involved in the Great War.


Sadly the two gentlemen did not record their names along with this document but perhaps it might have been published in the RWF old comrades association publication, if they had one as most of the lot was from that organisation.

The pages are numbered if they have come out in the wrong order.
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Old 01-02-16, 01:16 PM
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Among the other documents was this leaflet for the sounding of the last Post in Ypres at the Menin Gate which I assume was a souvenir of the trip. they mention attending the ceremony during their pilgrimage.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-16, 01:33 PM
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That's great Jerry, interesting the way they describe Mametz Wood, how many people have visited it and talk about the atmosphere there? that thread on GWF about strange experiences on the Western Front, Mametz came up time after time, I'm a bit of a sceptic myself but it's interesting nontheless.

My Gt uncle was killed near Yzer Canal and is buried at Boezinghe, so very interesting to read the account of them visiting there.

Thanks for posting it Jerry.
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Old 01-02-16, 03:15 PM
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Ali,

Woods can be strange dark and brooding places and one with such a history might affect us all differently and expectations lead one into a mindset perhaps.

I have yet to visit the site, so I cannot as yet comment on how it affects one. I plan to visit but as this year is the 100th anniversary I think that accommodation would be a problem so another year hoepfully.

I think the myth of Mametz was started by Robert Graves in his poem A Dead Boche, reproduced below:

A DEAD BOCHE*
To you who’d read my songs of War
And only hear of blood and fame,
I’ll say** (you’ve heard it said before)
”War’s Hell!” and if you doubt the same,
Today I found in Mametz Wood***
A certain cure for lust of blood:
Where, propped against a shattered trunk,
In a great mess of things unclean,
Sat a dead Boche; he scowled and stunk
With clothes and face a sodden green****,
Big-bellied, spectacled, crop-haired,
Dribbling black blood from nose and beard.


I have medals from a number of men who fought at Mametz Wood, including those to a member of 15th (1st London Welsh) Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

And more documents from the same group relating to 15/RWF which include two letters sent from Bucking Palace in regards to their 46th anniversary reunion dinner and more.
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File Type: jpg RWF group of docs 1d.jpg (30.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg RWF group of docs 5.jpg (34.7 KB, 6 views)
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Old 01-02-16, 03:49 PM
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Great documents, really nice to have. Yes I think I would wait until next year as well.
Speaking of Mametz I find it interesting, different people's take on the dragon at Mametz, some think its a monstrosity and others that it's a fitting memorial.

As you say I think when you know the history of a place, particularly if its a dark history your mind will often cast an atmosphere. Interesting though.
Ulster Tower at Thiepval is another one that seems to affect people.
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Old 01-02-16, 04:14 PM
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Some more items relating to 15/RWF from the lot.

An accompanying letter from the printers and two example cards for an event in the 1960's.
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File Type: jpg RWF group of docs 2b.jpg (39.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg RWF group of docs 2aa.jpg (108.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg RWF group of docs 2ab.jpg (87.7 KB, 6 views)
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Old 01-02-16, 05:18 PM
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The group also included a handwritten note from Lewis Noel Vincent Evans, C.B. D. L. who was a founder member of the battalion and also was deputy director of public prosecutions, a scion of a wealthy north wales family, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_Vincent_Evans he was also a JP, and High sheriff and deputy lord lieutenant of Merionithshire.


He gets mentioned a number of times in General john Riley's revised edition of Wynn Griffith's Up To Mametz (& Beyond)



And also in in Jon Riley's talk on the same subject http://generalship.org/llewellyn-wyn-griffith.html see notes 7&8 for mention of him and his father.

The letter is to Dasher, who I have yet to id.
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Old 01-02-16, 07:52 PM
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[QUOTE=JBBOND;342728]Ali,

"Woods can be strange dark and brooding places and one with such a history might affect us all differently and expectations lead one into a mindset perhaps.

I have yet to visit the site, so I cannot as yet comment on how it affects one. I plan to visit but as this year is the 100th anniversary I think that accommodation would be a problem so another year hopefully"

Try emailing Martin Pegler (thepeglers@orchardfarmsomme.com) in respect of accommodation. It may be the centenary year but the difficulty in booking will be around the 1st July for obvious reason. Martin has a little B&B in Combles which would be very handy for visiting the Somme...he also has a self catering apartment. Added to that he is an expert on the Somme, has written many books relating to WW1 and is a lovely bloke. He will also give you a guided tour of anywhere you may want to visit ( he will charge for this ). I have stayed there twice...it is an absolutely amazing place and he can offer shed loads of advice.
As for Mametz Wood itself....walk across from the Welsh Memorial to the edge of the wood and then look back.....you will see the perspective from the German front line....then think of the number of lives lost in covering this small distance....and realise then that the Welsh were criticised and castigated for a lack of achievement........it hits you emotionally...it is a dark and brooding place and you dare not go more than a few yards into the wood....many parts are not cleared and it is very dangerous to enter. Quite simply, you must go.
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Old 01-02-16, 10:30 PM
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[QUOTE=Charliedog012012;342801]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBOND View Post
Ali,


Try emailing Martin Pegler (thepeglers@orchardfarmsomme.com) in respect of accommodation. It may be the centenary year but the difficulty in booking will be around the 1st July for obvious reason. Martin has a little B&B in Combles which would be very handy for visiting the Somme...he also has a self catering apartment. Added to that he is an expert on the Somme, has written many books relating to WW1 and is a lovely bloke. He will also give you a guided tour of anywhere you may want to visit ( he will charge for this ). I have stayed there twice...it is an absolutely amazing place and he can offer shed loads of advice.
As for Mametz Wood itself....walk across from the Welsh Memorial to the edge of the wood and then look back.....you will see the perspective from the German front line....then think of the number of lives lost in covering this small distance....and realise then that the Welsh were criticised and castigated for a lack of achievement........it hits you emotionally...it is a dark and brooding place and you dare not go more than a few yards into the wood....many parts are not cleared and it is very dangerous to enter. Quite simply, you must go.
Thanks Charlie,

I might give it a go, I'll speak to her indoors first but I think she already has plans for us this year!

Also I have recently gone from self employed to working for a company and already I find the restrictions on my free time quite onerous, though the regular wages and paid hols are better. Swing and roundabouts I guess!.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-16, 10:41 PM
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Also in the group is this colour photograph of 3 gentlemen who I assume are Vets of the RWF and possibly of the 15th Bn staning in front of the RWF memorial in Wrexham.

It is undated and unnamed, except in a message on the back, though sadly the name is the only word I cannot make out.

With Best wished for Christmas & the new year

?????????

Also hoping we have another enjoyable weekend at Ruabon.
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File Type: jpg 3.jpg (31.3 KB, 11 views)
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