We are off to Flanders on Monday. Which means the house is full of maps and plans for what we want to see. I’ve been able to overlay some of the trench maps used in Blacker’s Boys on top of modern French and Belgian 1:25000 and 1:20000 maps. That means we can have a fair idea where the 9th RIF were at key moments.
We are most interested in four events:
- Battle of the Somme 1 July 1916 – John Adams missed this because he had been wounded earlier in the spring. That probably saved his life.
- Battle of Langemarck 16 August 1917 – an ultimately futile event in the bloody muddy swamp east of Ypres.
- Shoddy Farm Raid in 1918, where John Adams won a bar to his MM.
- The events of 29-30 September 1918 in Dadizeele, where John Adams was seriously wounded.
The weather isn’t looking too good for the Ieper and Albert areas next week so it means we may get a bit wet while exploring the battlefields and cemeteries. Maybe a bit of mud will be appropriate…