The Western Desert - Keith Douglas and the Sherwood Rangers

#21
Here's a clearer map - follow the road NE from Tilly until you approach the Point 103 ring-contour, then follow the track on the left just before the crest:



(Stan Hollis VC's sunken road is just to the east - on the northern edge of the wood south of the word 'Cristot')
 
#22
Additional: The notable thing about Keith Douglas' original burial site is that there is a large crater exactly on that spot. My guess is that Padre Skinner used the convenient crater for his burial. There was another grave in roughly the same spot, with another grave halfway up the eastern side of the field, right up against that hedge.
 
#23
From "The man who worked on Sundays" entry for 10th June
"Forward on foot and found bodies of Keith and Peter [Lt Peter Pepler], also body of a Tpr. Simpson (Regt uuknown, later identified as 24th Lancers). Buried all three separately, near to where each lay, 150 or more yards from each other. Occasional rifle fire while digging graves".
Col. Christopherson had denied the padre permission to go forward the previous day due to ongoing tank action on the hillside.
 
#27
@Signalman , Thanks so much for posting this. I've spent time looking into this myself.
Here is where I think the graves of Douglas and Pepler were, with Tpr.Simpson of the 24th Lancers.
KD is #1. Simpson #2 and Pepler #3...What thing thee?
Screenshot_20180613-110236 (2).jpg
thumbnail_IMG_20180613_201634.jpg
 
#28
@Signalman , Thanks so much for posting this. I've spent time looking into this myself.
Here is where I think the graves of Douglas and Pepler were, with Tpr.Simpson of the 24th Lancers.
KD is #1. Simpson #2 and Pepler #3...What thing thee? View attachment 338127 View attachment 338128
You're spot on. We had that sketch map when we went there (from a facsimile of Padre Skinner's Casualty Book) - my apologies, as my bad memory was one field out! :)
 
#29
@Signalman
the landscape has changed over the years, some areas dramatically.
Padre Skinners sketch can't be replied on 100%, I go by the two strips of trees on Pt.103, A squadron were leagured here.
here is a Recce Photo taken 7 months before in 1943... that whole wood marked in green is gone now....KDs grave is just out of shot on the left, Red shows the angled feild that still exists. many of the hedgerows and field have changed or been changed...k
CDNWE014 Aerial photo of St Pierre.jpg
one.jpg
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#30
Keith Douglas, his oeuvre untimely sealed, is a classic example of the disastrous cull of talent and leadership inflicted by the Germans on Europe over two generations. What might our society have been if all those better men who volunteered had survived?
 
#31
Chaps.
A fantastic bit of collaborative research this. ARRSE at its very best. Hats off. Thoroughly rivetting stuff. Book now on my must buy list.
 
#32
@Signalman
the landscape has changed over the years, some areas dramatically.
Padre Skinners sketch can't be replied on 100%, I go by the two strips of trees on Pt.103, A squadron were leagured here.
here is a Recce Photo taken 7 months before in 1943... that whole wood marked in green is gone now....KDs grave is just out of shot on the left, Red shows the angled feild that still exists. many of the hedgerows and field have changed or been changed...k View attachment 338138 View attachment 338139
Indeed! Yes, it was the two strips of trees that we used to find our way there in 2010 - they were about the only indicator that matched current maps. We were spot on then, but my memory was shite when pinning that google map! :)
 

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