Author Topic: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917  (Read 4442 times)

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2017, 07:31:34 AM »
I hope someone can answer another quick query.  Was the cap badge the same for all the battalions.

Jamie

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2017, 11:39:14 AM »
Hi Jamie

No some of the Battalions did wear the Fleur-de-lis cap badge , I suppose you could say unofficial ( 7th,11th Batt's ) do show up wearing the cap badge in postcards

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2017, 01:16:07 PM »
Thank you very much for that information.   I visited the grave yesterday and also walked the battlefield and visited several other small cemeteries where the battalion fought that day.   I found several Manchester regiment graves and will post some photos of the area in due course when I've sorted them out.

Jamie

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2017, 10:46:23 PM »
On a bright and sunny morning two days ago, the 23rd April 2017, I visited Geoffrey's grave at Wancourt cemetery and laid some red roses there. It was good to meet other people who were visiting the graves of their relatives who served with the Manchesters. After that my friend and I walked along towards Heninel and a passing Frenchman pointed out the extension to their village cemetery that houses some Manchester Graves.   We then walked up to Cherisy Road East Cemetery from where we were able to pinpoint the area where Battalion HQ had been that morning and where the Battlefield Grave was that Geoffrey was first buried in.  We then walked back to Wancourt and collected the car, passing a pile of munitions at the side of the track. After that we  drove round the same area and photographed the ground over which the 17th had advanced.  Finally after seeing several other small cemeteries we went to see the Hindenberg Line pillboxes a little to the south west.  The walk around the battlefield gave us an appreciation of the objectives that the 17th had taken that day and for which they paid such a heavy price.  The area was very peaceful and it was hard to imagine what it was like a century earlier.

The pictures are as follows:-
1 - The grave with my home made memorial.
2.- A close up.
3.  A view towards the area above Heninel where he was killed.
4. A view of Heninel village from Wancourt cemetery.
More to follow on the next reply.

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2017, 10:52:27 PM »
Some more photos from the Heninel area on 23-4-17
5-Some of the 'iron Harvest' still being uncovered to this day.  One fool was daft enough to pick one up and take it away in his car.
6-The graves of three men from the 17th Manchesters
7- The cemetery that they are in above Heninel
8- Looking from the cemetery towards where Battalion HQ was that morning.

More to follow.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 11:04:02 PM by Jamieguest »

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2017, 10:57:30 PM »
9- The lovely little chapel just below the cemetery.
10-Another Manchester Grave in Cherisy Road Cemetery with two occupants.
11- Looking from Cherisy Road along the ridge. The Initial Battlefield Grave was just before where the wood is on the horizon and I believe that Battalion HQ was there as well.
12-looking along Cherisy Road towards the main objective, the further ridge that overlooks Cherisy.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 11:35:36 PM by Jamieguest »

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2017, 11:01:21 PM »
13 is another view of the area over which the Battalion advanced
14 is a view of the old bunkers from the Hindenberg Line probably captured on the 12th of April.

I hope that these are of interest.

Jamie

Offline charlie

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2017, 08:21:31 AM »
Thanks for sharing Jamie.

Charlie

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2017, 09:08:23 AM »
Thanks Charlie, I'm glad to be able to do it.  I plan to go back to the collection of letters that are at Leeds University and transcribe them. They describe Geoffrey's time in France throughout the Somme campaign, up to his death, much of the time he was battalion quartermaster.

Jamie

timberman

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2017, 09:14:28 PM »
Thanks Jamie some very good photos.

First time I've seen two different Regiments on the same headstone.

Timberman

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2017, 10:28:39 PM »
There were several in that cemetery which I think may have been a battlefield cemetery.

Jamie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2017, 07:37:40 AM »
Jamie,

Firstly, great photographs. Secondly, I wonder, please, if you would refer to the photograph of the bunker which you describe as "old bunkers from the Hindenburg Line".

Would I be correct to say that in the valley shown in the top right hand corner of the picture is the location of Heninel- Croisilles Road CWGC cemetery?   If so, that would be the site of part of Tunnel Trench where Siegfried Sassoon was wounded.  PhilipG.

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2017, 09:01:11 AM »
PhillipG

The photo is taken looking North West across the valley that Heninel lies in.   The Heninel-Croisilles Cemetery was about quarter of a mile behind me. The road is parallel to the road that the cemetery is on but wasn't named.  There are about 5 bunkers in all in the fields and I have some more photos if you are interested.   the cemetery is visible across the fields.

The potential link to Sassoon is interesting.

Jamie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2017, 03:30:34 PM »
Jamie,
 Thank you.  It must be 20 years ago since I visited that area, so it is pleasing to learn from where your photograph was taken.  With reference to Tunnel Trench.  This was some two miles in length and was built/bored with the help of Russian POW's.  The entrance in the German lines was off the D9 just southwest of Fontaine - les - Croisilles.

On the 16th April 1917, Sassoon took 25 R.Welch Fus. bombers into Tunnel Trench, but was hit in the shoulder by a sniper.  He then walked to Heninel and thence to Boyelles in search of medical help.  The rest is history. PhilipG.

Offline Jamieguest

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Re: Lt Geoffrey Fildes Potts 17th Batallion kia 23-4-1917
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2017, 12:09:33 AM »
Hi Philip

Thanks for that.  It does look as if the surviving blockhouses were part of that system.  The one I photographed was at approx. N35.a.8.8 on sheet 51 SW of the trench maps.   I'll have to get myself a copy of Sassoon's book.   It's interesting that Sassoon was in the area where the 17th Manchesters fought as Wilfred Owen was attached to the 2nd Manchesters I believe.

It's fascinating the avenues that this research is taking me down.

Jamie