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              Pierre Grande Guerre
              shows his
              photo impressions
              of his trips along
              the Western Front
              with his selfmade photo's,
              historic pictures,
              and maps.
              Few words,
              many pictures,
              and many links.
              Warning: Sometimes on the battlefield
              you will still find relics of explosives.
              All these shells, hand grenades, and
              mortar rounds can even nowadays still
              be very dangerous.
              Some of the artillery bombs may contain
              poison gas, which can cause severe
              blistering or worse injuries.
              In France it is by law forbidden to
              remove relics from the battlefield.
              So, it is for your own safety:
              take a picture of the steel harvest,
              but leave these relics untouched!

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              Pierre is a Dutch member
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              Central Ontario Branch
              of the Western Front
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              a lifetime membership!
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              LINKS TO THE SPECIAL



              Pierre's Illustrated

              WFA-NL Lecture 

              'UNCLE HANSI" - (Dutch)

              Pierre's Illustrated

              Lecture "Verdun 1916" - (Dutch)

              Pierre's illustrated

              WFA-NL lectures:

              The Tactical Significance 

               of General Gaede - (Bilingual)

              The Difficult Start

              of the L.I.R. 123 - (Eng)

              De Moeizame Start van

              het L.I.R. 123 - (Dutch)

              De Rode Duivels

              op de Hartmannswillerkopf (Dutch)

              De Blauwe Duivels

              in de Vogezen (Dutch)

              Botchkareva en haar

              Vrouwenbataljon (Dutch)

              Mata Hari -

              Het Spionagedossier (Dutch)

              More Special

              Photo Impressions

              of the Western Front (English) 

              Armistice Clearing Compiègne

              Kaiser's Exile Huis Doorn


              Fort de Mutzig - Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II

              Colmar and Hansi, the Illustrator 

              The Red Baron's Crash Site

              Canadian National Vimy Memorial

              SOMME 1918 The Australians

              Fricourt Archeological Excavations

              Traces of Bairnsfather  - Xmas Truce

              Yorkshire Trench and Dugout

              Bayernwald Trenches Inside 

              LINKS TO ALL
              in the CORRECT SEQUENCE


              Chemin des Dames part 1 

              Chemin des Dames part 2 - Dragon's Cave

              Chemin des Dames part 3     

              ALSACE LORRAINE

              The Gap of Charmes - La Trouée de C.

              Avricourt - Leintrey - Reillon - Montreux - Parux 

              Montreux German Front Walk

              The Battle of Morhange - 1914

              French Bunkers - Mnt. Grand Couronné 

              South of Metz - German Bunkers -

              Feste Wagner 


              Tête du Violu - Bernhardstein

              Chaume de Lusse - Haute de Faîte

              Bertrimoutier - Frapelle  

              Ban de Sapt - La Fontenelle

              Senones - la Roche Mère Henry

              Col de la Chipotte - de la Chapelotte

              The Donon - Bunkers - Dug-outs

              ALSACE VOSGES  

              Col du Bonhomme Col de Mandray

              Tête de Faux - Buchenkopf 

              Col du Wettstein - Schratzmännele

              Lingekopf - le Linge  

              Kleinkopf - Barrenkopf 

              Hohrodberg-Giragoutte-Trois Epis  


              Munster Valley Petit Ballon  

              Le Tanet - Bichtstein - Villa Sidi-Brahim

              Route des Crêtes - Hohneck -

              Gr. Ballon - Sudelkopf 

              Hartmannswillerkopf - Vieil Armand  

              Guebwiller - Rimbach - Hirzstein  

              Moosch Nécropole Nationale  

              ALSACE SUNDGAU  

              Zillisheim Illfurth Largitzen Pfetterhouse 

              Burnhaupt-le-Bas Bunker Path     


              Mort Homme Côte 304

              Montfaucon- Romagne s/s Montfaucon

              Butte de Vauquois

              Haute Chevauchée

              The Bunker of the German Crownprince


              Illies - Wicres    

              Neuve Chapelle - Richebourg

              Aubers - 1915 

              Fromelles - 1916  

              Neuville-St. Vaast - Souchez

              Notre Dame de Lorette 


              Arras Wellington Quarry

              Vimy Ridge

              Lichfield Crater


              St. Hilaire le Grand Russian Cmty  Mont Navarin

              Sommepy Mont de Blanc Mont

              La Main des Massiges


              Verberie Néry Villers Cotterêts  

              First Battle of the Marne   

              Belleau Wood - Château Thierry  

              Second Battle of the Marne

              SAINT MIHIEL

              Les Eparges Ridge

              Calonne Trenches Tranchée

              Fort de Troyon

              Apremont Forest Trenches

              Butte de Montsec

              Rémenauville Destroyed Village

              le Bois le Prêtre / das Priesterwald 

              SOMME British Sector


              Auchonvillers Trench

              Mine Craters Lochnagar Hawthorn

              Thiepval Memorial Mouquet Farm  

              Thiepval Wood - Ulster Tower

              Ovillers La Boiselle

              Hawthorn Ridge Beaumont Hamel

              Redan Ridge 

              Newfoundland Memorial Park  

              Serre Hébuterne 

              Sheffield Memorial Park Serre


              Fricourt Deutsche Kriegsgräberstatte 


              Mametz Wood 

              Trones Wood Montauban Guillemont

              Caterpillar Valley Longueval 

              High Wood Longueval

              Delville Wood Longueval



              le Sars Butte de Warlencourt

              Flers Gueudecourt

              Adanac Canadian Cmty. Mireaumont

              SOMME French Sector 


              Rancourt Cimetière National

              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof

              Dompierre - Becquincourt Fay Soyécourt

              Flaucourt Biaches


              VERDUN Citadel 

              Thiaumont - PC 118 & 119 - A 320

              Road To Fort Douaumont       

              Fort de Douaumont

              Douaumont Nécropole Nationale  

              Côte Froideterre - Les 4 Chéminées 

              Fort de Souville 

              Fort de Vaux 

              Tunnel de Tavannes Fort

              La Voie Sacrée

              Bois des Caures - Col. Driant's C.P. 

              Flabas German Reprisals Camp

              The German Camp Marguerre 

              Duzey German 380mm Artillery Base

              Destroyed Villages Bezonvaux - Ornes

              Azannes - Damvillers - La Grande Montagne 


              Menin Road Railway Wood

              Maple Copse - Hill 62 - Hooge

              Clapham Junction Zandvoorde Bunker

              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke

              Hill 60 - Hollebeke -

              St. Elooi - Lankhof Farm

              Messines Ridge

              Pilkem Ridge

              Boezinge Essex Farm Ziegler Bunker

              Langemark Poelkapelle St. Juliaan

              Passchendaele Ridge

              Mount Kemmel Lettenberg Bunkers

              Ploegsteert Wood


              Nieuport Ramskapelle

              Pervijze  Stuijvekenskerke

              Diksmuide Trench of Death 

              Leke Vladslo Houthulst


              Pierre's Nederlandstalige
              artikelen en columns
              over de Grote Oorlog
              (Copy & Paste de titel in de
              Bochkareva en haar Vrouwenbataljon
              Bretonse Bécassine tijdens de Oorlog
              De Vanceboro Bridge Bomaanslag
              Beneath Hill 60
              Tijdreizen Op Internet
              Leutnant Von Forstner Koopt Chocolade
              Duitslands Oudste Oorlogsvrijwilliger
              Marcel's Bajonet
              Souvenir de Bezonvaux
              Namibië-Etnische Zuivering-1904-1908
              Het Beleg van Fort de Vaux
              Explosiecatastrofe In Fort Douaumont 
              Franse Aas der Azen: René Fonck
              Chasseurs Alpins, Franse Alpenjagers
              Prowse Point Cemetery
              Hoe Sgt. Kunze Fort Douaumont
                 veroverde op 25-02-1916.
              Frank Hurley: Fotoshoppen In 1917
              De Kaiserschlacht,
                 een beknopte samenvatting.
              Herdenking Op Douaumont 2008
              Wapenstilstand 1918 -90 Jaar Geleden
              Vijfde Lustrum WFA Nederland,
              Geur van Drukinkt
              De Vallei van Munster
              Der Rote Baron Versus Flyboys 
              De Fantomen van Landowski
              Louise de Bettignies -
                 Queen of English Spies
              Monument Op Vimy Ridge
              De Erewacht van
                 Notre Dame de Lorette
              Tank Tegen Tank 90 Jaar Terug
              Von Richthofen's Laatste Noodlanding
              Generaal Von Lettow Vorbeck
              Grafschennis Notre Dame de Lorette
              Google Earth 
              De Kaiserschlacht 90 Jaar Geleden 
              De Wolfsberg - le Hamel
              Overleden Veteranen
              Franse Sector Aan De Somme
              Kerstbestand 1914
              Raadselachtig Graf
              Caporetto; Kiem Van Fascisme
              Lenin's Treinreis
              Tsjechen Aan Het Westelijk Front
              Mata Hari
              325 Miljoen Voor 12 Zeppelins
              Slagvelden Van de Somme
              Op de Lingekopf
              Weinig Duitse Monumenten
              Soldaten Standbeelden
              Mosterdgas 1917
              Schwaben Redoubt
              Oogst Van Roest
              De Tekenaar Hansi
              Gifgas Bij Vancouver Corner
              Nationaliteit Kwijt?
              Beloond Geduld
              Prins Harry Naar Irak
              De Arm Van De Kaiser
              Artilleriebunkers Nabij Duzey
              Kamp Flabas
              Eerherstel voor "Deserteurs"
              Vredig plekje?
              Moslimmonument in Verdun 
              De Slag aan de Somme
              De Tunnel van Tavannes
              Kapitein Joost van Vollenhoven
              Huis Doorn
                 “Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje II
              Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje I 



              MARNE Verberie Néry Villers Cotterêts
              Marne 1914:
              The Retreat from Mons.
              Villers Cotterêts 
              part 1 

              year of visit: 2008. 

              A report of a trip in 2 photo pages.
              On this page we visit some interesting Marne locations, reminding us of the events some days before the start of the First Battle of the Marne (5-10 September 1914). 
              On the next page we will visit battlefields, memorials, and cemeteries of the First Battle of the Marne in the valley of the Ourq river .
              We start our trip at the Necropole Nationale of Verberie.
              Verberie's cemetery contains 2.506 graves of French soldiers, killed in this area during the summer of 1914, ...
              ... and also the graves of 53 British soldiers,
              killed during "The Retreat from Mons".
              The Retreat From Mons (24 August-4 September 1914).
              Since 24 August 1914 the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), together with the French 5th and 6th Armies were in a fighting retreat from Belgium into France southward, the so-called "Retreat from Mons".
              Von Moltke's 760.000 troops of the German 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Armies chased the 700.000 Allied troops in the direction of Paris, fighting battles with each other near Le Cateau, Guise, and St. Quentin (26 and 29 August 1914). Near Villers Cotterêts the British 4th Guards Brigade checked the German advance on 1 September.
              On 1 September General von Kluck’s 1st Army lost contact with his Supreme Commander von Moltke in Koblenz and General Von Bülow’s 2nd Army on his left wing.
              Von Kluck decided to divert from the Von Schlieffen Plan, and he directed his troops to the east of Paris.
              That day his troops were fighting the British Expeditionary Force near the Oise river, near Villers Cotterêts, Verberie, and Néry.
              On 3 September the Germans reached and crossed the Marne at Château Thierry.
              At dusk of 4 September, Von Kluck’s 1st Army, still fighting with Manoury's 6th Army, had reached Meaux, only 13 kilometres of Paris, and amongst others, la Ferté sous Jouarre. On the hill of Monthyon, near Meaux, the Germans installed an observation post with machine guns and artillery guns, which could easily reach Paris.
              For the Allies Paris was in real danger and the war seemed about lost.
              5 British graves are in a particular plot in the Verberie Cemetery.
              These are graves of soldiers of the Royal Horse Artillery, ...
              ... who died on 1 September 1914 at nearby Néry.
              The Affair of Néry (1 September 1914).
              "L" Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery, followed in the wake of it’s 1st Cavalry Brigade to Néry. At the village of Néry were temporarily stationed the 5th Dragoon Guards, the 11th Hussars, and the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards). "L" Battery took a position south east of the village to block two roads, which led east and south from the village.
              On 1 September, shortly after 5.00 AM a high-explosive shell burst over the village, and gun and rifle fire broke out from the heights overlooking the eastern side of Néry.
              At the same moment Lieutenant Tailby of the 11th Hussars, who had been sent with a patrol to reconnoitre the high ground north of Néry, reached the headquarters in the village, and reported that he had ridden into a body of German cavalry, and that he had been chased back. The 1st Cavalry Brigade had been taken completely by surprise.
              More explosions followed. Apparently several German guns were in action on the heights to the east, some 750 m. away. The horses of the Bays stampeded under the German fire.
              A shell bursted over the position of "L" battery, and immediately afterwards it came under heavy rifle fire from the ridge. Captain Bradbury shouted out: "Come on! Who's for the guns?". Followed by all the other officers, and joined by those men who were engaged in steadying the horses under bursting shells, the officers got three guns unlimbered and swung round to face the German guns. Hardly were the three guns in action, when one of them was knocked out by a direct hit. The other two guns fired only a few rounds, when the men of the second gun were either killed or wounded. This left only one gun, under Captain Bradbury, which was still in action.
              Two surviving subalterns of the second gun joined Bradbury's detachment. The tasks at the gun became: Lieutenant Mundy acted as Section Commander, while Captain Bradbury worked as layer, and Sergeant Nelsonwas the range-setter. The German guns now fired together directly on "L" Battery.
              At 07.15 hours casualties began to mount up. Captain Bradbury and the severely wounded Sergeant Nelson were the only ones left. They kept up firing at the best,they could. A reinforcement now reached the little detachment, in the person of Battery-Sergeant-Major Dorrel. On his arrival Captain Bradbury went back to fetch up more ammunition. As he left the gun, he was hit by a shell and mortally wounded. Now there remained only Dorrel and Nelson. These two fired the gun’s last remaining rounds.
              At it’s last discharge, reinforcements of the Bays, 5th Dragoons, and 11th Hussars, reached the field and dismounted. Together with the recently arrived "I" Battery the Cavalry Brigade forced the German 4th Cavalry Division to withdraw into the surrounding forests, causing such heavy losses under the Germans, that the division was unable to fight until 4 September.

              Captain Bradbury, Sergeant Nelson, and Battery-Sergeant Major Dorrell were awarded posthumously with the Victoria Cross. 

              At Néry we visit the former location of "L"-Battery, ...
              ... with it's memorial for the Royal Horse Artillery.
              There is also a plaque commemorating the actions of the
              2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) against
              the German 4th Cavalry Division.
              (The last line seems to me a rather disputable remark).
              We continue to Néry, to the local, civilian cemetery of Néry...
              ... to visit the other graves of the
              12 Royal Horse Artillery soldiers and officers of "L" Battery.
              This remembrance stone is also referring to their
              brothers in arms, buried at Verberie.
              In the Néry cemetery there is also a commemorative obelisque ...
              ... dedicated to 3 British officers, 
              who died at Néry on 1 September.
              The 4th inscription at the base is for the brother of Major Cawley,
              a captain, killed near Merville in 1918.
              The graves for these officers surround the obelisque.
              On the right, on the grave of Captain Bradbury VC are also mentioned the 2 other officers of "L"- Battery,
              awarded with the Victoria Cross:
              Battery-Sergeant Major Dorrell and Sergeant Nelson.
              We continue to the  Forêt de Retz, the Forest of Retz,
              near Villers Cotterêts.
              On 1 September 1914 the three Rearguard Actions of Villers-Cotterêts were fought. In one of these actions the 4th (Guards) Brigade, covered the rear of the 2nd Division and the Irish Guards, the 2nd Grenadiers and the 3rd Coldstreams fought their way to Villers-Cotterêts with some loss. The main action began about the "Rond de la Reine", a clearing on the main road now marked by the Guards' Memorial. The Guards' Grave is just south-west of the memorial on the south-east side of the main road.
              Along a bend of the D 81 lies at a slope the Guards Grave.
              This small cemetery contains a mass grave of 98 officers and soldiers ...
              ... of the Grenadier, Irish, Coldstream, and Life Guards, ...
              ... fallen in this forest during the period of 1-19 September 1914.
              On 1 September Lt. Colonel Morris with 70 of his last men ...
              ... fought around here a desperate rearguard action under
              machine gun fire and rifle fire from encircling German troops.
              4 headstones of officers, fallen on 1 September:
              2nd. Lt. Cecil (Grenadiers), Lt. Lambton (Coldstream),
              Major Tisdall (Irish), and on the right: ...
              .. the tombstone for Lt. Colonel George Morris.
              Some 10 days later, during the First Battle of the Marne,
              more Guards died here in the Forest of Retz
              during the fights of 11 September.
              Some 200 m. furtheron is the location,
              where the main action began:
              at a junction at the clearance, Rond de la Reine, stands a private memorial for 2nd. Lt. Cecil, the Guards Memorial:
              "PASSER-BY STOP HERE".
              An inscription on the rear side tells us:
              "In honour of the officers and men of the Grenadier, Coldstream, and Irish Guards, who fell near this spot on 1 September 1914."
              We continue to the Cimétière Militaire de Villers Cotterêts,
              or the Villers Cotterêts French National Cemetery.
              The cemetery is on the left hand side of the Paris/Compiègne road from the centre of the town to the northern outskirts of the town. It contains 3.411 French burials of which 933 in two ossuaries, 4 Russian graves, and 4 British graves.
              There are graves from both periods of the Marne battles of 1914 and of 1918.
              The memorial above the 2 ossuaries.
              Grenadier Guardsman, J. Heslin,
              who died on 14 September 1914, is also buried in the ossuary.
              These are "1918" graves. The right grave is of
              the Canadian Private R.L. Bradley, killed on 25 March 1918.
              There is also a large plot for French Colonial Muslim soldiers.
              From Villers Cotterêts we continue to Betz
              to visit locations of the First Battle of the Marne.
               Continue to the next chapter:
              Betz - Etrépilly -Barcy - Chambry - Penchard - Meaux - La Ferté s/s Jouarre - Montreuil aux Lions". 


              op 01-10-2008 21:34
              I'm trying to find a copy of the image above of Moltke's troops advancing across a poppy field in France.
              Where did you obtain that image?
              Thank you!
              Dave L.
              Pierre op 02-10-2008 12:36
              @ David L. You will encounter this photo in many WW1 photo books, David, like Peter Simkins' recommendable: "World War 1 - The Western Front" (1991).
              op 02-10-2008 16:47

              Dank u voor uw hulp!

              - David
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