The Battles for the Parc de Bois Londe (17th-18th June 1944)

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Steve, Rob I have also had a bit of luck in finding where my grandad was originally buried in France before being moved to bayeux. I was trying to workout why he was buried in Bayeux cemetery and not Tilly-sur-Seulles cemetery which seemed closer. I still can't find a reason for this. but I have found out he was buried in a field in an area called Chouain and wasn't moved to bayeux until February 1945. So just another piece of the puzzle to put together. Sorry Rob I have gone a bit off subject on your thread I hope you don't mind.
     

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  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Shaun

    ....even more curious that he was moved to Bayeux when you realise that there was a Cemetery at Chouain aka 'Jerusalem crossroads'

    Have you pinpointed that map reference mentioned on the graves card?......sheet 7/F1
     
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    There's a little book on the Normandy cemeteries that makes the point that the locations of 'official' burials and reburials were partly dependent on where local labour was available at a particular time. That, in turn, was probably affected by the state in which we left the local towns and villages.

    Jerusalem Cemetery was the result of a medical facility at that location. It's possible that units which had their echelons in the Chouain/Jerusalem area would have brought some of their dead back and buried them at their 'base', but not in the medics' plot.
     
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Idler

    We will possibly never know and there will be 'exceptions that prove the rule'. One of those buried at the Jerusalem CWGC Cemetery is Captain Ian Kerr: Ian was killed in his tank at Tessel Wood which is about the same distance away as the Parc de Boislonde.
     
  5. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

     
  6. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Not yet Steve I am planning to have a look but google Street view shows it to be exactly on a cross roads but it's probably a bit random. So I'll have a look today at the reference . I'd like to find out why he is where he is if there is a reason but the CWGC response was :quote "they can not add comment"? What that means is up for my own interpretation but they could have said we really just don't know why.
    Ilet u know what I find.
     
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Shaun

    I have that map reference on sheet 7F/1 as adjacent to the Rue des Moulins just before the road passes under the railway line to the north of the hamlet of Hervieu. That is some distance, in relative terms, from the possible medical facility at Jerusalem crossroads.

    That makes sense because the 24th Lancers often used to withdraw to that general area to resupply etc.

    Pure speculation but I'm thinking the reason he is now in Bayeux Cemetery is the same as for other 24th Lancers and others, notably a concentration of outlying burials into one large central cemetery appropriate to that particular phase in time. That would certainly be more straightforward from a logistical point of view than having to make individual arrangements to more local cemeteries etc.
     
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I haven't much on "Hervieu" - but what I have is here:
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/57303-researching-life-at-hervieu-in-normandy-in-june-1944/

    Re. Parc de Bois there's this link (mentioned above) - in The "12th SS (Volume 1)" - by Hubert Meyer: as a German account...
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zAbDS7uLVIMC&pg=PT266&lpg=PT266&dq=Tessel+woods+Lancers&source=bl&ots=02oz0wfcjE&sig=U0eKAiu45F-4_hPCnas8gt8wLBU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=i1ocVZH2A4StaYLRgqAK&ved=0CFIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=parc%20de%20boislonde&f=true

    And I assume that's there's something in the Battle for Tilly-Sur-Seulles (not sure of the price?!) - in French and English by Stephane Jacquet
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/La-Bataille-Tilly-Sur-Seulles-The-Battle/dp/2840482606

    A copy of which, I think Shaun you already have?

    Not sure how much detail there is in "None Had Lances" or other tomes - though it's often mentioned in passing... with usually an index ref. so it's nice to know more details about all those events.

    Especially nice to know that your granddad,Yann, got to rebuild it and live there again.

    I've spoken to a few acquaintances / Normandy guides and there are still a lot of mysteries to "unearth".

    The SRY WD mentions for example on the 18th June:

    "The previous night some of the Bns had rather a shaking but the retreat of the Inf Bn which was holding Le BOIS DE BOISLONDE without any kind of orders will need some explaining away. Denis Elmore, John Fox, Sgt Rush, Sgt Harding + Cpl Greenwood were all wounded. Sgt Bartle of Recce Tp who was observing on his feet has never been seen again since the heavy period of mortaring. It is quite a mystery what has happened to him."

    Such is still the fog of war...

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  9. ltdan

    ltdan Junior Member

  10. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Yes it does make sense for that to be the spot he was first laid to rest I remember Robs posts regarding Hervieu it seemed like a place that was almost safe well as safe as it could be at that time.
    Rob I will have another look through battle for tilly It may have something I missed because I wasn't actually looking for it at the time.
    Ill have a look at the area on Google earth just out of interest.
    Cheers for that Steve I wasn't having much luck finding it myself last night in fact according to Google grid finder the ref was somewhere in the celtic sea? That's a very new perspective on the battles
     
  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Celtic sea? Sounds a bit fishy...

    Thanks for the link Itdan. From memory you don't tend to focus much on the Normandy campaign (? not sure ?) - but I don't know if you've seen / have reviewed the Meyer book in general terms?

    For me it was quite a useful read, especially to compare it with some of the other accounts.

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  12. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Shaun

    The sunken road bridge under the railway line and the adjacent field (which is where he would have initially been laid to rest) are on Google streetview. A very peaceful tranquil looking location.

    I'm wondering if Reg would be able to provide more background if you used the proximity of the railway line as a memory jogger.

    I can email you images later if you like or post them here.
     
  13. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Steve, rob
    I have only just noticed your reply. My phone doesn't show this thread had a second page. I've been checking but only seeing my last reply
    I think I'll drop by and speak to Reg again because he did say my grandad was buried in a field on the left towards or near St Pierre which seems to match that field but given the railway bridge as a landmark it may jog his memory. He did say some locals probably the women had laid many flowers on all the graves in the field. He said even his troop commander a Scottish major (Mac?) I believe commented on this fact.
     
  14. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    Steve, rob
    I have only just noticed your reply. My phone doesn't show this thread had a second page. I've been checking but only seeing my last reply
    I think I'll drop by and speak to Reg again because he did say my grandad was buried in a field on the left towards or near St Pierre which seems to match that field but given the railway bridge as a landmark it may jog his memory. He did say some locals probably the women had laid many flowers on all the graves in the field. He said even his troop commander a Scottish major (Mac?) I believe commented on this fact.
     
  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Shaun

    When talking to Reg, remember that your Grandad may have been temporarily interred in a shallow grave, then moved to Hervieu and then to Bayeux. In other words, don't be too surprised if Reg says 'not near a railway line.....nearer to St Pierre....' Of course, it makes things simpler if he does say 'near the railway line'.
     
  16. norton 407545

    norton 407545 Well-Known Member

    I See what you mean Steve I'll bare that in mind
    Thanks
     
  17. yann

    yann Member

    Dears,
    Some pictures dated 1944 from my family.
    La mairie et l'école de Fontenay-le-pesnel (Council and school)
    La ferme Roussel (Roussel's Farm)
     

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  18. yann

    yann Member

    Other pictures dated 1944 from my family.

    L'église St Martin Fontenay-le-pesnel (St Martin's Church)
    Le chateau de Boislonde avant/après (The Castle before/after)
    Les rues de Fontenay-le-pesnel (Fontenay-le-pesnel village Streets).
     

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  19. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Yann

    Thank you, most sincerely, for posting those photographs. The utter devastation is chilling and shows the true cost of War.

    I recognise one or two of the locations, particularly the church in Fontenay le Pesnel and what I presume is the burnt out shell of your family home - the Chateau.

    Do you, by any chance, know the precise locations of all the photographs?
     
  20. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Yann,

    Totally agree. Many thanks for these. By the way have you always had an interest in the local history or is it something that you have come to more recently?

    All the best,

    Rm.
     

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