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German Ammo pouches - Recent Find at High Wood


Glenn R
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Hello all,thought WW1 history buffs may be interested in this.

I've just returned from a visit to the Somme area, a trip I make at least once a year. I revisited and walked the area around High Wood yesterday, one of my areas of interest, especially concerning the actions of the 15th London Rgt. While walking the perimeter of the wood we found the usual ordnance including several intact Mills Bombs.

To my surprise, I found these two pieces of what I strongly believe to be German ammo pouches. They had clearly been thrown up by farming activity and were just lying on the surface if the ground. I have never found leather items in this manner before and considering that they are not far off a hundred years old they are in remarkably good condition.

For those of you who know High Wood, I found them around 20 feet into the field, directly in front of the memorial to the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders.

Had I left them in situ they would have undoubtedly deteriorated over the course if the coming winter.

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Yes, a very interesting find. I've been to the area dozens of times and have never seen anything other than the usual debris churned up by ploughs. Would the chalk in the ground preserve leather better than clay?

Anything from the Civil Service Rifles is interesting, I'm particularly interested in the 22nd London Regt. but will normally be more than interested in all London battalions from the 8th onwards.

Tony

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Thanks Chris I thought as much. Tony, it's a great area to walk isn't it? Fascinating place. I'm sure you're familiar with the London Cemetry too then? I have a few medal groups to Civil Service Riflemen including a High Wood casualty. The London rifle regiments are all interesting but the 15th has always fascinated me.

To be honest that area around the Cameron's memorial is very heavy clay so I have a feeling it's that which has caused the leather to stay preserved so long.

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I used to go there on the nearest weekend to 1st July and again whenever I had the time, can't wait until I get the chance to go again. I have a personal diary to a man killed 1.7.16 which I imagine was taken from his body by Germans as he was officially missing. I bought it at a German flea market years ago, he wasn't a Londoner, he was a Robin Hood but they'd have all experienced the same.

A nice pair or trio to the 15th, 16th and 28th are at the top of my shopping list since I started collecting London Regt. casualties.

Tony

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I have a couple of pairs and a nice trio to the 15th. All casualties. The trio to a High Wood casualty, a bombing Sgt killed by a bombing raid on the Starfish Trench shortly after the wood was taken. I have his photo and a copy of a letter to his mother from a mate who was taken prisoner the same day. The letter says he last saw him that morning collecting bombs, muddy and wet but in good health. Visited him at Thiepval last year.

The Robin Hood diary sounds fantastic. My Great Great Uncle was a Sgt with the Notts & Derby killed in 1917 by artillery.

Glenn.

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A great trio with so much research potential.

This is hijacking your thread Glenn but if you're interested have a look here for the diary http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/1340-a-1st-july-somme-casualty/page__hl__dore

Tony

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Oh no, not hijacking at all. I will have a proper read of this later. I'm absolutely fascinated to read that. Just at a quick glance it looks incredible. Gommecourt too. 1/5th North Staffords suffered heavily there too as you know. That was another place I visited and walked last week. Where your pic of where the German front line was taken, facing the wood, we walked that around to Foncquevillers. The British line running roughly beneath the pylons just visible in your picture.

Have you read this?..... http://www.tommyatgommecourt.com/page1.aspx

Well worth the money. Great little book.

Glenn.

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