WW1 - Timings

Hi All,

Planning a family 'excursion' to Pommereuil (Just East of Le Cateau) in October to retrace the steps of my Great Uncle who was machine gunned down while attacking the post during the 9 Btn Devonshire Regiment advance on Pommereuil 23 Oct 1918.

We will be walking from the form up position at the exact time 90 years on, towards the machine gun post location and then to his grave at the cemetery in the village.

I know the attack started at 01:00 hrs 23 Oct 1918, from the Btn War Diary, but wondered if the Diary would have been written with Z timings or local back then.

Hoping to take my 12yr old son, (need to take out of school for the event). Hopefully it will give him a greater understanding of events when he wears his great great Uncles medals in November, having been there himself at the exact time, date and location 90 years on.

Many thanks for any help,
Interesting question that I don't know the answer to.

If it refers to local time you also need to factor in Central European Summer Time (CEST) which wasn't used in France in 1918.

That's a great idea what you're doing with your son. I think I'll do the same with my boy but on the 100th anniversary of the deaths of his two g.g. uncles. (He's too young now and I missed the 90th anniversaries in 2006).
An awesome and valuable intro into 'real' life. May your son carry the moment forward into a positive appreciation of true family and national bonding.
Thanks for the leads Gents,

It seems at the moment that GMT would be the answer, I wonder if other fronts used GMT in reports.

I'll post on the Great War forum site and let you know the result.

Pretty sure we went to DST (ie BST), but that the Krauts were different. However, it being October it may come down to finding entries in War Diares.

This Wiki entry includes mentions of May 1916 start, and avoiding changes at Easter, so it was switching between.
Just waiting for authorisation to post on the '14-18' forum.

Just to say that the family each took something from our visit a couple of years ago, it's one of the few times the children weren't bored on one of my 'Dad trips'!

The trip went of just as planned. A very moving journey.

The Menin Gate was an awesome place. Absolutely brings home the sheer numbers that fell during those times and the names on the walls at Ypres are only some of those without known graves.

At Pommereuil the night was clear, just as it was on the same night 90 years ago, but it was so so quiet. I've been potholing and it semed quieter than that!

Young Sid did very well, it was very daunting to be stood in a field at 01:20hrs where so much went on so long ago, and very much in our minds.

When it came to laying the wreath and visiting our relatives grave, all fears went.

It was a great experience and I now intend to go each year and would heartily recommend others to do similar in memory of their own relatives.

I gave my son his GG Uncles medals at the time and feel that he now really deserves to be able to wear them on Sunday, having experienced 'being there'.

All the best to you all and I'll drink to everyones health at the Legion on Sunday.


Last Post, Menin Gate, Ypres, 22 October 2008

We then drove to Pommereuil France where my son and I retraced the steps of Great Uncle Marcus
who fell on the advance to the village at around 0130hrs 23 October 1918 and placed the wreath in Remembrance to all.

'Young Sid' (12) placed the cross on his Great Great Uncles grave at 0130hrs 23 October 2008

p.s. I'm running the London Marathon for the Royal British Legion in April, so if you can lend me your support, it would be very much appreciated. :)
Justgiving - Tre4s Fundraising Page

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