April 2012

In my previous blog entry The Mysterious Red Writing – Maricourt Wood it was mentioned that no further maps or photos could be found of the area in and around Maricourt Wood. It was in these maps we wanted to attempt to determine: 1) the location of the railways in the area; 2) the location of any drop points on this railway; and 3) the possible location of any burials. Then one of my readers [thanks Phil] spotted a June 1918 map (57c NW) of the Vaulx-Vraucourt area which may well have helped us check off all three of these items.






Aptly enough for Anzac Day, Captain Eric Wren, late of the 3rd Battalion, A.I.F., has written his history of the battalion under the title of “From Randwick to Hargicourt”. (pub-lished by Ronald G. McDonald, Sydney). General Sir Nevill Smyth, V.C., writes a foreword, and there are messages of congratulation to survivors of the old battalion from the late Major-General Sir Horace Walker (who formerly commanded the 1st Division) and Brigadier-General Lesulle (formerly com- mander of 1st Brigade). Captain Wren has had to collect the material for this story from many sources within and without the ranks of the unit. It might, have been written, he states, sixteen years ago, but for good and sufficient reasons was not. He thinks that the story can now be told better. In the “mellowed perspective” of twenty years after; and certainly this writer, who has read many war reminiscences and unit histories, is convinced that It could not be told better than Captain Wren has told it here.


In the dim light of the breaking dawn the enemy were often mistaken for our own men. Lieut Loveday, commanding B Company, anxiously guiding the direction of the troops, mistook a party of Germans for Australians. Calling out “Keep to the left” – “Keep to the left”, he suddenly found himself in a life and death struggle with a German under-officer.He was getting by no means the best of the encounter when one of his men managed to work his bayonet between the struggling figures and dispatched the Germans.