Walking Arras: Bullecourt

In this episode, we follow the Australians – the ANZACs – and men from the West Riding of Yorkshire who fought around the sleepy village of Bullecourt near Arras, in Northern France. Here more than 10,000 ANZACs became casualties in the bloody battles for the Hindenburg Line.

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20 Comments on “Walking Arras: Bullecourt

  1. Excellent as usual Paul, my Aussie uncle 6031 William Armitage,(married Dads eldest sister ) was taken prisoner of war during the 3/4 hour attack at Noreuil while serving with the 17th Battalion AIF on the 15th April 1917, this became known as the Battle Lagnicourt, but there never seems any mention of it.

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    • Thanks Ian… I do intend to do something on the Lagnicourt area at some point as there are a lot of interesting stories there. Keep tuned!

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  2. Another superb podcast Paul.
    My great uncle Charles Edward Hunt 2/4 London Regiment was killed there on the 14 th May 1917. He’s commemorated on the Arras memorial. We placed a plaque to his memory on the memorial cross on the battlefield in 2006. Sadly Covid has prevented us from coming back lately. We knew Jean Letaille from 2001 until he died as we used to visit for the Anzac Celebrations every year. He was a wonderful man. Much missed.

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      • Hi Paul.
        I’ve tweeted the same response together with a photo or Jean and me taken in 2003

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  3. Another great podcast Paul. One of my wife’s ancestors emigrated to Australia with his wife and infant daughter in 1914. In 1916 he joined the AIF and was sent to the Western Front. Sadly, he was killed near Ypres in October 1918 and his remains were lost. He is commemorated on the Menin Memorial.

    Interestingly, earlier this year, I was contacted by a researcher working with the Australian Army because they have found the remains of a number of AIF soldiers in the Ypres area and they are in the process of trying to identify them. I’ve been told that it is possible this relative may be one of them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he may well have been found after all.

    For anyone researching Australian relatives that served during the Great War, the NAA website is an excellent starting point.

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    • Wow, what a story, Steve. Let me know what the outcome is? Wouldn’t that be amazing if he was one of those who had been found?

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      • It certainly would. I’m quite into my family history and being the WW1 anorak that I am, I try to find out as much as I can about relatives that served during the Great war. I was contacted after the researcher found my tree on Ancestry. My wife will have a female DNA line they can check if they need to, and I pointed them towards a living male relative who lives in Canada, for the male DNA. I don’t know whether his daughter went on to have a family, and whether they are alive or not. Hopefully so, and they’ll be interested to know their great, great grandfather may have been found. I’ve asked them to keep me posted.

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  4. Excellent….I understand my Grandfather was here with No 1 Special Company RE at this time……

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  5. As always Paul a very interesting podcast, I am currently reading a history of the 6th DLI (my grandfather served in France with them April 1915 until the end of 1917 before being demobbed). The 6th DLI fought close by at Wancourt Tower Ridge.

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  6. Another fascinating podcast about one of the lesser known battles. It’s so interesting to learn about areas other than The Somme or Flanders.
    Also great that the contribution made by Australian forces is truly recognised

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  7. Hi Paul, I’m a week behind, but found the story of your Gt Uncle especially interesting. My Gt Uncle, Frank Braley was in 157 RE field company attached to 16th Irish Div. He was killed in the action on 20.11.17 trying to take the tunnel trench on the Hindenburg line, and is buried at St Leger. Small world. I gather the 16th ID are very annoyed that they can’t put Cambrai on their Battle Honours as they were ‘only’ the diversion. There seems to be very little mention of this action anywhere, other than a couple of accounts in 16th ID books.

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  8. Another excellent podcast. Thanks for reminding me about Copse 125. It’s available online for £10/15. Much cheaper than a few months ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes it looks like it. I watched a review of it on YouTube last night and it seems to be written in a different style to Storm of Steel.

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