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          GREAT WAR for ROOKIES
              Some of P.'s DUTCH WW1 ARTICLES
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              Recently Released

              Photo Impressions?

              Visit my

              Front Page

              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!

              Follow daily Pierre's 

              World War I News

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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
              intends to remain free
              of any commercial
              It has no financial benefit at
              all for its webmaster!
              Are you not familiar with
              the backgrounds & causes
              of the First World War?
              Read my 5 illustrated pages:
              Got lost? Click HERE!
              Dutch Readers!
              Nederlandstalige lezers,
              Lees Pierre's artikelen
              en columns over
              de Grote Oorlog
              en klik op
              of ga verder naar onderaan
              deze kolom.
              Read also:
              Pierre's BOOK REVIEWS !
              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
              Prijs: € 15,- pdf-versie
              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 



              Arras Wellington Quarry
              Wellington Quarry
              Carrière Wellington
               year of visit: 2008. 
              From the beginning of 1916, the Allies began preparing an attack at Vimy Ridge over a front of 22,5 km before the city of Arras: The Battle of Arras. Arras itself was already completely destroyed in 1914. The offensive was meant as a diversion attack for the Nivelles offensive at the Chemin des Dames, north of the Aisne river. 
              Under the paving of Arras, lie impressive chalk quarries, which were dug since the Middle Ages.
              446 members of the New-Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company, a unit of General Allenby’s 3rd Army, were in charge of linking up the quarries to create an underground network, where 24.000 soldiers could be quartered, waiting for the offensive to start at 9 April 1917.
              Outside the entrance of the quarry is a wall,
              commemorating the Battle of Arras with the names of all units involved.
              Lt. General Haldane's citation of the New Zealand Tunnellers
              is also on this Memorial wall:
              At the entrance of the quarry:
              these light railway wagons were of great importance
              for removing the rocks from the quarry.
              The other side of the wall along the path downward
              to the Wellington Quarry.
              After going down 20 metres deep in a glass elevator,
              an audioguided tour, accompanied by a friendly human guide, takes the visitors into the Wellington tunnel system.
              The New Zealand Tunnellers named this dark kingdom
              after their home towns.
              The southern part of the network became a mini New Zealand.
              From one huge quarry called Auckland,
              soldiers could march through to Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim,
              Christchurch, Dunedin, and so on.
              446 New Zealand Tunnelling Engineers, all professional miners,
              worked together with a battalion of "Bantams",
              Yorkshire miners below the Army's minimum length of 5 ft. 3 inch.
              In about 6 months, the Tunnelers created two
              interconnected labyrinths,
              in total 12 miles long, and capable of hiding 24.000 soldiers
              and officers.
              Of course with such a mass of men, latrines were indispensable.
              Canteens, chapels, power stations, a light railway, ...
              ... and even a fully equiped hospital with 700 beds
               were all established in this labyrinth.
              Soldiers Graffitti of 1917.
              These corridors were not the narrow and low shafts,
              earlier used elsewhere on the front
              for underground mining activity. 
              These tunnels had to be wide enough for soldiers to march in one direction, 
              and wide enough to let stretcher parties pass,
              coming from the other way.
              This modern net hangs before this meters high hole in the ceiling.
              It protects visitors for still falling lose rocks.
              The New Zealand quarries, like the Auckland and Wellington,
              were linked to the northern section of quarries of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Crewe, and London and others,
              like a side-tunnel, which led to a trio of quarries called Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney.
              The New Zealand Tunnelers created the most extensive underground network ever in British military history!
              This 1917 construction was made to protect the soldiers
              against falling rocks.
              The Arras attack was set for Eastern Monday 1917.
              A week before Eastern the Generals started filling up
              their underground city with soldiers.
              This large operation had to be done in total secrecy.
              The soldiers entered the network through a few cellars, "boves", 
              in the destroyed city.
              Then they walked to their underground positions, 
              and waited there for several days.
              Each quarry, a maze of caves, housed a whole regiment, 
              each of which had it's own number.
              In this rather disorientating, dark underworld,
              24.000 soldiers waited for more than a week, playing cards,
              singing, and writing letters.
              The troops found their designated quarters by following
              the painted numbers.
              On several locations one can still detect wires of the electricity system.
              Officers had their own latrines.
              "To Battalion Headquarters".
              This corridor leads of course to ...
              ... the room of the Battalion's Commander. His table is still there.
              We move on passing this narrow gallery.
              Furtheron in the maze: tiny drawings of soldiers on the walls.
              For very understandable reasons,
              these are protected with a screen against tourist fingers.
              Nearby this elephant on this wall, another soldier's drawing.
              "To A Section".
              Always important in these circumstances: a large water bassin.
              The larger routes had to accommodate a supply railway as well.
              We have trouble to keep pace with our hasty guide,
              who already has been going on, on his way to Exit No. 10.
              When the time came, at 5.30 AM on 9 April 1917, Eastern Monday, ...
              ... the soldier received a cup of Rhum
              from these Special Reserve Depot jugs to numb the fear, ...
              ..., and the troops marched to their exit tunnels,
              up their designated staircases, out in to the open.
              The infantry soldiers of the British Third Army found upstairs
              a carefully timed artillery barrage, 
              blasting the German positions ahead of them.
              The Germans were surprised to see their enemy so suddenly
              a mile closer, than anyone of them had ever expected.
              The Germans surrendered, often bootless, 
              and still in night clothes.
              North of Arras, around Vimy Ridge,
              the Canadian Divisions of the 1st. Army faced a much stiffer
              opposition of the Germans for the next three days.   
              But the Canadians, too, had been helped by their own
              extensive tunnel systems, leading up to the German lines.
              The Wellington Quarry itself is now a Memorial.
              It preserves the memory of these thousands of soldiers, 
              billeted here underground, a few metres from the frontline,
              before their surprise attack on the German positions. 
              In the next page about Vimy Ridge,
              more details about the Battle for Arras
              and the Canadian Divisions.
               Continue to the next chapter:


              ben vd heiden op 11-07-2008 08:43
              Weer toppy Pierre, was de moeite van het bezoeken wel waard.

              john pearcy op 19-07-2008 22:22
              Hello Pierre,
              thank you for another superb photo impression, it is of great interest to me as my grandfather went into the Ronville system with his battalion the 6th kings own yorkshire light infantry on the 7th april 1917 in preperation for the attack on the 9th, on that morning they moved through the tunnels and emerged into trenches only 1000 yds or so from the German lines. Zero hour for the 6th was 7.35am, they went over the top in a snowstorm supported by a creeping barrage and tanks. Their first objective was pine lane trench which they took about 8am, they then moved on to take a strongpoint known as fir alley redbout and finaly they took telegraph hill trenches by 8.40am, all their objectives were taken in little over an hour.
              Next week i am going to visit the caves for myself, so many thanks,Pierre,for this great insight.
              kind regards,
              Pierre op 20-07-2008 14:37
              @ John P. Hello John,
              Thank you very much for your interesting contribution about the experiences of your grandfather in the Ronville system.
              I can nowimagine, that you have also personal reasons to visit the Wellington Quarries. I wish you fine days during your visit to France and the Arras tunnels next week, John.
              If you like, email me your experiences later, when you have returned home.
              Pierre op 27-10-2008 12:11
              WW1 NZ Tunnellers. Matt P. from New Zealand wrote me about the period picture of the NZ Tunnelers:

              (...) The chap in the front right hand corner (sitting next to the soldier with the dog) is 4/1429 George Edward HATCH, a veteran of the Boer War (serving in the 8th Contingent, NZMR) and who would later go on to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1918. I have a particular interest in George Hatch, and was thrilled when I saw the photo you had posted! (...)

              Thanks Matt, for identifying one of the soldiers on the period picture and sharing this knowledge with us!

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