BEF Trench?

Discussion in '1940' started by Dirk, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Dirk

    Dirk Member


    Some time ago I stumbled across a few trenches located in my neck of the woods.

    One of these trenches has a particular shape. I think the trench might date from May 1940 as it is located in an area that was held by a company of the 2nd Bn. The Coldstream Guards in Leefdaal (13 May - 16 May 1940).

    Unfortunately, a British Anti-Aircraft Site was located in that very same area during the winter of 1944 -1945. So I'm not 100% sure whether it was dug by the 2nd Bn. The Coldstream Guards or by gunners of the Anti-Aircraft Site.

    I wondered whether its particular shape might hold the answer.

    Was this trench dug according to some BEF manual?
    Can its use be defined by its shape?

    I thank you for any help you can give.

    Attached Files:

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Interesting pics Dirk-anything inside them? I'm not an expert but they do look infantry. Do you know the RA Regt that was nearby ? I will have the diary and that may hold a clue or two.
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've never had the impression that the BEF had much time to dig substantial trenches forward of the Gort line on the Belgian / French border although I do recall mention of adapting existing Belgian defences.
  4. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Hello Andy and Rich,

    I found nothing in the trenches. The RA unit is known to me (you once copied the diary for me Andy).

    I realize that the BEF had not much time to dig substantial trenches along the River Dyle line, and adapted therefore the few Belgian zigzag trenches already existing along that river.

    2nd Bn. The Coldstream Guards was in divisional reserve at the time in a position well behind the frontline. Perhaps they made good use of their time constructing such relative small infantry trench types.

  5. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    They look like double weapon pits - possibly for a mortar section with two tubes.
  6. Wideload

    Wideload Nulli Secundus

    Interesting. Will double check my photos but I'm sure I've got pictures of Grenadier Guards in 1939 jumping out of a similar looking trench in training but I have a feeling that's in France.
  7. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Wideload - it would be interesting to learn whether the Grenadier Guards
    in the pictures you have jump out of a simular looking trench.

    Thunderbox - the idea it might have been weapon pits for a mortar section is very appealing.

    Attached is a photo af another trench in that same area.

    Attached Files:

  8. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  9. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Wills - Thank you very much for the interesting information.

  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Looks like they may have been dug on the 13th May:

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