← In the Footsteps of the 1st Queen’s
Looking south east from the approximate site of the windmill
Where is this exactly? My G. Grandfather was in the 1st Btn, Queens Royal West Surrey, and killed on April 13th, 1918. Here. I’m scouring old maps and trying to overlay on Google Maps. What do you think – how did you get to this location?
Hi Neil, the mill appears on the trench maps at the time as the ‘Moulin (or abbreviated to Min) de Hoegnacker’ The National Library of Scotland website has a great tool for overlaying trench maps on modern aerial images. Try this link – https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=50.72542&lon=2.68922&layers=101464885&b=3
I would be interested to know who your G.Grandfather was?
That’s amazing, and it confirms more or less where I’d gotten to with my own research. He was Harry Buckley G/25571, 1st Bn., The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
who died age 34
on 13 April 1918
. I essentially, via the regimental website sort of figured out where they were, read the diaries, looked at forces war records and figured out that’s pretty much where he was – at the mill. There’s also a blog about the 33 division, which has some detail. Seems that the 1st bn were right in the middle at the point where the mill once was. He’s on the memorial at PLOEGSTEERT which I guess implies his body wasn’t recovered, or at least there wasn’t much left to bury. Your photograph caught my eye as i was searching for reference to the mill.
Not entirely sure why a Lancashire Lad ended up in a Surrey regiment, but I guess they used what they had?
Thanks – do you happen to have a picture of him? It seems he initially served in the Manchester Regiment but as you say they had to use what they had so he was probably posted where he was needed. I have a picture of his name on the Ploegsteert memorial in case you haven’t visited/seen it – happy to send it to you. Do you have a link to the 33rd Division blog? I don’t think I’ve come across it.
Sadly I don’t, I have asked my mother to see if there’s something in the attic. Manchester makes sense, he was from Shaw which is part of Oldham. I’d love to see the picture of his name on the memorial. That would be very kind.
This is the blog i found:
There’s a post a little way down by MBrockway which seems to detail the action around the Mill on the 12/13/14 April 1918. Specifically:
The infantry battalions of 19th Bde were arranged in a rough arc of approx 3 miles to the SE and S of METEREN. 5/6th Scottish Rifles on the left approx 200m west of the STEAM MILL (27.X.24.c.0.2) facing E and SE to cover the approaches to METEREN. 1/Queens in the centre on WINDMILL RIDGE around the HOEGENACKER MILL facing S. 1/Cameronians on the right straddling the METEREN BECQUE and facing S to cover the approach from OUTTERSTEENE and MERRIS. 1/Cameronians were in contact with the 1st Australian Brigade to their right believed to be holding MERRIS, though in fact the enemy had probably already infiltrated to MERRIS by this time. 2nd New Zealand Entrenching Battalion were in Support..
Then further down:
That morning of the 13th April 1918, the enemy attacked under cover of mist at dawn with at least two divisions. Their main thrust falling on 1/Queens and A Coy MGC. The centre of 1/Queens gave way and the machine guns were rushed, the teams being killed almost to a man. Only one gun was successfully withdrawn. The flanks fared better however and after much attack and counter-attack, the line was eventually stabilised slightly further back with HOEGENACKER MILL now in enemy hands.
Fascinating stuff. As soon as travel opens up a bit more, I’m going to go visit.
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