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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
              of the Canadian
              Central Ontario Branch
              of the Western Front
              In 2015 awarded with
              a lifetime membership!
              And a member of:
              The Western Front
              Association Nederland
              This website is and
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              the backgrounds & causes
              of the First World War?
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              Pierre is the author
              of the Dutch book,  
              "De Rode Duivels in de
              Vogezen - 1914-1915 -
              Een geïllustreerde
              reconstructie van de
              van het 152e
              Régiment d'Infanterie" 
              Klik  voor de details
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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 



              Ovillers La Boiselle

              British Sector
              Ovillers - La Boisselle
              years of visit: 2005 - 2007 - 2012.

              South of Thiepval is located one community of two 2 villages, Ovillers-la Boisselle, lying on both sides of the D 929, the road from Albert to Bapaume. During 1914-1915 this area formed the battlefield of the French and the Germans, but it also formed an important battlefield of the British during the summer of 1916.
              We will visit the Ovillers British Military Cemetery, and at la Boisselle the Tyneside Memorial Seat, the Lochnagar Mine Crater, and the Glory Hole trenches. Here we will make a jump backwards in time from 1 July 1916 to the period of December 1914, when French Breton regiments defended this front sector. We will continue to the northern outskirts of la Boisselle to the Breton Calvary of la Boisselle. From there we return to the summer of 1916 and we will continue in the direction of Pozières for a visit to the Rifle Corps Memorial, the sunken Dead Man’s road and in the Chalk Pit.

              We start now at Ovillers at the British Military Cemetery.
              Ovillers Military Cemetery was begun before the capture of Ovillers as a battle cemetery behind a dressing station. It was used until March 1917, by which time it contained 143 graves, about half the present Plot I. The cemetery was increased after the Armistice when Commonwealth and French graves were brought in, mainly from the battlefields of Pozières, Ovillers, La Boisselle and Contalmaison.
              There are now 3,440 servicemen of the Great War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 2,480 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 24 casualties believed to be buried among them. The cemetery also contains 120 French war graves.
              The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.
              Ovillers-la Boisselle, 1 July 1916.
              South of Thiepval the German 26. Reserve Division occupied the heavily fortified villages of Ovillers and in La Boisselle, the village itself including the so called “Schwaben Hohe”.
              On 1 July 1916 the 70th Brigade of the 8th Division advanced from the Usna Hill to the Village of Ovillers, north of the Albert – Bapaume Road, and a depression parallel to the road, “Mash Valley”. The main target for that day was meant to be reaching the church at Pozières.
              After blowing several mines like the Lochnagar mine, ...
              ... and a mine at Y-Sap (40.000lbs), left of the road, ...
              ... the 34th Brigade with 4 battalions of Northumberland Fusiliers, Tyneside Scottish and Tyneside Irish, attacked from the Tara Hill to Y-Sap and la Boisselle village. But in No Man’s Land they were thrown back and sustained many casualties.
              Both villages were not captured yet, but the British won some ground here and to the south of La Boisselle. On 4 July, the 19th (Western) Division cleared La Boisselle and on 7 July the 12th (Eastern) and 25th Divisions gained part of Ovillers, the village being cleared by the 48th (South Midland) Division on 17 July. The two villages were lost during the German advance in March 1918, but they were retaken on the following 24 August by the 38th (Welsh) Division.
              Below: Conquered trench near Ovillers. Members of A Company, 11th Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment.

              From Ovillers we cross the D 929 to visit la Boisselle.
              Panorama view from Ovillers over Mash Valley to la Boisselle.
              We start at the Tyneside Memorial.
              Along the D 929 stands the Tyneside Memorial Seat,
              to commemorate the actions of
              the 102nd Tyneside Scottish Brigade and
              the 103rd Tyneside Irish Brigade.
              On the other side of the road the civilian cemetery
              (behind the green hedge) formed a centre point during
              the Franco-German fights of 17 December 1914.
              This spot also forms the frontline of 1 July 1916,
              where the British would be halted at the end of the day.
              We skip just for a moment our visit to the Glory Hole trenches and save it for later on this page to visit first
              the Lochnagar Mine Crater.
              This Lochnagar Mine Crater was caused by one of 17 huge mines, ...
              ... which the British detonated along the Somme front
              on 1 July 1916 at 7.20 A.M.
              For more detailed information about this mine explosion,
              visit my photo impression; "Somme - Mine Craters" .
              From the dead end road of the Lochnagar Crater
              we return to the Glory Hole trenches.
              Archaeologists are researching this site of tunnels, trenches
              and craters. This day they were, alas, not present to receive us.
              From outside of the fence I notice the info signs, which are
              already positioned along the traces of the trenches.
              We hope of course that that this site will be opened in the future
              to the public.
              Marie Pierre Jouanny, after whom this trench was named,
              was a sergeant in the Breton 19e Régiment d'Infanterie.
              He was killed in action on 28 February 1915 near this spot,
              probably not far from the trench, which took its name.
              When the British took over these lines from the French in
              June 1915, the British soldiers have renamed this trench
              "Tummel Street Trench".
              Although the emphasis of most memorials along the northern
              Somme Front is on the British actions of 1916,
              the name of this Breton Sergeant Pierre Youanni reminds us,
              that we sometimes tend to forget that the French had to
              defend these lines themselves until June 1915.
              On 17 December 1914 these same trenches, here at
              the Glory Hole, formed the jump-off trenches of
              the Breton 19e Régiment d'Infanterie for a massive attack on
              Ovillers and la Boisselle, then occupied by the Germans. 
              The French Breton Regiments and the slaughter of 17 December 1914.
              On 16 December 1914 the villages of Ovillers and la Boisselle were occupied respectively by the German Reserve Infanterie Regiment 119 and 120. South-east of the village this R.I.R. 120 occupied on a height of 109 metres a farm, reinforced into a stronghold, called the "Granathof" or the "Granatenhof".
              The French were at the south-western outskirts of la Boisselle.

              On 17 December 1914 the French Army launched a massive attack with 5 divisions on the German front line sector running from Thiepval in the north to la Boisselle in the south.
              The main trust of the attack concentrated on the line Thiepval - Orvillers, occupied by two German Reserve Infanterie Regiments of the 26. Reserve Division, the 119th at Orvillers, and 120th at la Boisselle.  

              The main goal was to eliminate some German “Blockhauses”, bunkers and strongholds on the south, east and west of Ovillers and to progress via Mash Valley.
              This was the task of the Breton 19e Régiment d’Infanterie, heavily supported by colonial units. The Breton 118e R.I. had to capture the civilian cemetery of la Boisselle, move north-eastward to eliminate some blockhouses, and from there go north-westward crossing Mash Valley to support its partner, the 19e R.I..

              But as soon, as the 19e R.I. reached the valley at a location some 750 metres beyond, on the northern outskirts of la Boisselle, all hell broke lose.
              (We will visit later on this photo page the location of the Breton Memorial, north of the village.)
              From his post at the "Granatenhof" stronghold at la Boisselle Hans Ludwig, a German private of 6 Komp. / R.I.R. 120 witnessed the French attack at Ovillers and la Boisselle:
              “The French were still in formation, officers going up and down the line, which showed signs of unrest. An officer raised his hand and they fixed bayonets. Our orders were not to start shooting until we were told. We were getting restless as it must have taken the French about 15 minutes to get ready. They paid no attention whatsoever to us and concentrated only on the unsuspecting R.I.R. 119 to our right, who, on account of being down in the (Mash) valley, could not see what was happening.
              Finally a red flare went up just as the French started to move.
              I never saw any attack that was as thoroughly killed before it got under way as this one. Two machine guns on the top of la Boisselle covered the territory behind the third (approaching) French line, cutting them off from any chance of getting back into their trenches . The other four together with the infantry, fired right into the thick masses.(…)
              The French force of about 3,000 had dwindled to not more than 500 and they raised their hands over their heads, the signal for us to stop firing with the exception of those covering the lines of retreat. The French losses during the brief space of about 20 minutes were over 2,500 dead and wounded.”
              (Source: Ralph J. Whitehead - "The Other Side Of The Wire".)
              The Breton 19e R.I. was decimated.
              The only French success of this day was the occupation of the civilian cemetery of la Boisselle by a company of the "Bataillon Bouvier" of the 118e R.I..
              Nevertheless, some days later, and in spite of this disaster, the fighting flared up during Christmas 1914, this time concentrating on the "Granatenhof" stronghold.
              A mine crater, perhaps one of the many,
              which gave this location its name of Glory Hole.
              From the Glory Hole we continue to the Breton 19e R.I. Memorial,
              north of the village, ...
              ... passing a private garden with two shells lying on the lawn.
              Via a sandy country road we arrive at
              the "Calvaire Breton de la Boisselle",
              or the Breton Calvary of la Boisselle.
              This is the site which I mentioned before.
              The Memorial commemorates the slaughter on
              17 December 1914 of the Breton 19e R.I.
              In two languages this information panel tells the bloody history
              of this location and its surroundings.
              It also describes in detail the heroic last moments of
              Lieutenant Augustin de Boisanger of the 19e R.I..
              We leave la Boisselle and we return to 1916.
              Along the D 9292 we continue northward into the direction
              of Pozières.
              Just before the village of Pozières, along the D 929,
              stands the Memorial for the King's Royal Rifle Corps.
              Behind the Memorial we drive into a narrow country road,
              which used to be called the Dead Man’s Road.
              On 15 July 1916 remnants of the 8th East Lancashires
              and 11th Royal Warwick’s sheltered from German fire
              in this sunken road, and the Chalk Pit, at the end of this road.
              In the Chalk Pit the Battalion Headquarters was established under heavy artillery fire.
              After an artillery bombardment and another infantry attack,
              they advanced only until 300 m. south from Poziéres village,
              with the loss of 1400 casualties.
              View from Dead Man's Road over the Battlefield to
              the Pozières British Cemetery along the D 929. 
              Now we save our visit to the Pozières British Cemetery for
              later in these series of Somme photo impressions.
              In the next photo impression we will first visit the
              Hawthorn Mine Crater and the battlefield of Beaumont Hamel.
              Continue to the next chapter:


              Geraldo op 01-08-2012 12:23
              Salut Pierre! Wow, always intricately informing this site of yours! Thanks for sending it to me. Try sending it also to 'mon ami poillu' Jon, at: www.crocoroze.aol.com/ Jon is an 'old hussard de l'armée Americaine, perdu presque au près de la fôret de Versailles'. I'm sure he'll like it. Salut encore, Geraldo.
              B. van der Heiden op 01-08-2012 12:59
              Weer bedankt Pierre voor deze update.
              Brett Butterworth op 02-08-2012 00:12
              Simply marvellous! Thank-you mate for letting me know about the update.
              Pierre op 02-08-2012 14:06
              © Geraldo L.F. Thank you, Geraldo, for your words of appreciation. I will try to get in contact with your friend, Jon. Otherwise you might guide him yourself to my website, please. He also might drop a line to my e-mail address and, as you know from your own experience, I will react within a few days.
              I also like to thank you here for sending me the link about the Vietnam battlefields!
              Good luck, Geraldo!
              Pierre op 02-08-2012 14:08
              @ Ben v.d. H. Jij ook weer bedankt, bEn, voor jouw reactie hier!
              Pierre op 02-08-2012 14:12
              @ Brett B. Thanks, Brett! Of course, old pen friend, as one of my loyal guests and as an important contributor of some rare period pics here, youwill always be on my mailing list!
              Darcy Mccannel op 03-08-2012 10:59
              Pierre: Once again I;d like to thank you for the tour through history.These fascinating excursions are all the more valuable to many of us as our days of overseas travel are past us. It truly is a wonderful service you provide to so many of us amateur historians. Thank you so much Pierre, keep well. Darcy Mccannel
              Pierre op 05-08-2012 16:31
              @ Darcy Mccannel. Thank you very much, Darcy, for your words of appreciation. I am glad to be helpful to all those (amateur) historians, who are not able anymore for whatever reason to visit the battlefields themselves. As long as I will be able to improve the quality of the website and as long as I will be able to visit the battlefields, I will continue my work, fuelled by reactions like yours, Darcy. Thanks again!
              Clifford Nyenhuis op 20-11-2012 15:34

              Hello Pierre, The picture showing the civillian cemetery. On the south west corner of the road there is S4. That is where my Great grandfather's brother was killed March 13, 1916. He was a tunneller with the 179th Tunneling Company. He is buried in the Albert Communal Cemetery Extension. I have been to his grave back in 1998. I got some of the information from Simon Jones who wrote a book on the unit.  Very nice pictures. 

              Take care, 



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