I had a very interesting email today from Gil Bossuyt of frontaaltours.com which has prompted this post. Gil has been looking at the image I originally colourised in this piece. It goes thus:

“I went searching on trench maps to recognize some road structures, and found that bottom left is the Market Square of Messines. On that same trench map you can also clearly see the trench structures you see in the photo. I am now overlaying this photo and the original trench map, which will make a great match.”

It does.

messines Trench Ghost

messines Trench Ghost map

This is nerdishly exciting for me as I puzzled over the photo to produce an overlay and couldn’t work it out. Well Gil has; the photo was upside down. He’s sent me links to his impositions some of which are below and I’ve hastily produced an overlay of the colour image from my previous post (above) and also a trench map ghost (also above). As I said to him, it’s pretty strange looking at it, as I’ve stood in the middle of this mess on numerous occasions obsessing over Messines, somewhere Percy, my grandad never made it to on his long hot walk.

Thanks Gil, teamwork with our European partners paying off as usual. 🙂


messines_april 1917