Mont Kemmel

‘Twas a nice day at the Kemmelberg today.

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25 Responses to Mont Kemmel

  1. Nigel Shuttleworth says:

    To your left in this view on the La Clytte (De Klijte nowadays) to Kemmel road (known as Kim’s road by the Tommies) is the demarcation stone for the furthest west that the Germans advanced. About 1/4 mile to the northwest of there my Great Uncle, 2nd. Lt.G.H.Frischling of the 12th. Bermondsey (Shiny Twelfth) Btn. East Surreys was killed on the night of the 14th. August 1918 whilst out on night patrol. He is buried at Lijssenthoek. What is of interest is that he maintained his German name (his Grandfather had immigrated to Britain from East Prussia in 1849) whilst serving in the British Army. That must have taken some balls for a 19 year old, never mind his courage in facing the enemy!

    • Baldrick says:

      Nigel, as I am using a Flemish keyboqrd – ahem – keyboard, I shall reply in full when I get home, but I just have to respond to this asap. I know the Bermondseys well. Can I point you in this direction:
      or put Black Hand Gang in the search box.
      Thats taken about two days to write and I still cant find the apostrophe1 Or the exclamation mark.
      And before you get confused, no, it isnt Baldrick, Ive just stolen his computer – and his persona – for the evening. Thats another two hours1 Damn1 Damn again.

    • Magicfingers says:

      We managed to find all three Demarcation Stones to the west/south west of the Kemmelberg. Interesting indeed about your Great Uncle’s name. Is he mentioned in the War Diary, do you know? And did you check out the London Rifle Brigade Cemetery post I mentioned?

      • Nigel Shuttleworth says:

        Yes, he got a single line in the Bermondsey Bn War diaries 14th. Aug 1918 ‘Our patrols active throughout the night. 2/Lt.G.H.Frischling Killed in action.’ His body wasn’t recovered from behind the enemy lines until 19th. Sept. If I recall the particular demarcation stone is 15, about 100 yards S of the junction between Kim’s Rd and Nut Rd (Noordstraat). The 12th. East Surreys occupied the line from Kim’s Rd. going east to Milky Way Junction (28SW) more or less along Nut Rd. There were no trenches here, just some fortified farm buildings and sandbags on the rim of a couple of Jack Johnson ‘oles!

        • Magicfingers says:

          Ah. You see I recognised the name. I have spent many an hour in years gone by with a colleague at work looking into the Bermondseys, which ended up with the London Rifle Brigade Cemetery post. With due respect (and with serious respect), what better than to take a bunch of street ‘ombres and tell them to do just the same over in France – having the war diaries at hand at work (but not for much longer I suspect) always helps.

  2. Nick kilner says:

    Hope you managed to get in touch with Barry Bromley for a visit.

    • Nick says:

      I can’t be certain, but I think that might be his place hidden in the trees dead centre of your photograph. His wife runs a small tearoom there.

    • Baldrick says:

      No, unfortunately, but I have left your stuff with Jack. Or at least in his postbox outside his closed museum. Long story. Next week. Oh, its me, not him. Obviously. He cant write.

  3. Iain B says:

    Lovely photo of the Kemmelberg and a beautiful day! I stay in Dranouter a couple of times a year and have cycled up there and walked across to Kemmel many times, where is the tearoom mentioned by Nick please? Nice pub on the Monteberg just outside Dranouter -Den Ekster (The Magpie), happy days!1

    • Nick kilner says:

      Hi Iain
      Barry’s address is

      36 Godschlalckstraat

      His wife, Debs is a superb cook. Her giggle cake is to die for, and Barry has literally the largest and most interesting collection of WW1 fire arms and military artifacts I’ve seen outside of the Imperial war museum. His collection dates from flintlock rifles through to modern firearms, with the vast majority being First World War. Viewing by invitation only at present, but due to open as a museum in due course. Pop in for tea and cake and ask if you can have a look round

    • Magicfingers says:

      Thanks Iain! The weather took a nose-dive from then on though.

  4. IainB says:

    Thanks for the reply Nick, can’t understand how I’ve missed the tearoom as I’ve ridden through all those lanes loads of times, certainly no because I’m going too fast!! A Google search doesn’t show any building at that address, is it near Locre Hospice cemetery?

    • Nick kilner says:

      If you leave Loker travelling on Godschlalckstraat towards the Kemmelberg, go straight across the little crossroads and the turning to Barry’s is the next track on the right a few hundred yards further on. I’m not sure is there’s a sign by the road, but head up the track and you’ll see a sign for the tearooms where the footpath comes out. If you look on google earth, there’s a small triangular field directly opposite the bottom of their drive.

  5. IainB says:

    Found it Nick, thanks, I was round that way as recently as early October and don’t remember seeing a sign on Godschlalckstraat, not like me to miss a tearoom! I’ll hopefully be over again in the spring, I’ll have a look for it. From the names I guess they’re a British couple?

  6. Isobel whittaker says:

    Hello.. I was looking for my great uncle who is buried in the Irish House cemetery.
    His name is Walter Brough died on 07/06/1917. Do you have any photos of his grave or anything about that unfortunate day Walter died. I have no living relatives to ask. I do plan on visiting the cemetery in the spring. I am getting as much information as I can to pass to my grandchildren.

  7. IainB says:

    Hi Magicfingers
    You may well know this but next time your near Kemmel there’s a viewpoint just outside Nieuwkerke where you get a fantastic view of the Kemmelberg, over to Messines, right across to Lille, Aubers Ridge and as far as the two slag heaps at Loos. Every time I’m staying at Dranouter I go up there and try and imagine what the scene would have been during the war. There are info boards telling you what you’re looking at, take your binoculars! Grid ref is and
    Once again I must compliment you on your efforts with this site

    • Magicfingers says:

      Damn – I’m not sure I do know exactly where you mean Iain, and I must make sure I do for my next trip. Thanks ever so for the grid reference. I was in the churchyard at Nieuwkerke the other weekend, too.

  8. IainB says:

    Just booked a couple of weeks in Dranouter for May, I’d be interested to have a look at Barry Bromley’s collection. Has anyone got contact details please?
    Thanks and regards

  9. IainB says:

    Thanks very much Nick, hoping to be there 2 weeks from 20th May, I’ll get in touch with Barry nearer the time. Museum ( and cakes and beer list!) looks good. Planning to cycle down to Festubert where a great uncle fell with the 4th Camerons on 17th May 1915 , commemorated on Le Touret memorial. ( Just read “Steel and Tartan” about the Battalion, highly recommended!) and to Fromelles where another one with 59 Bn AIF was killed on 19 July 1916 and is commemorated at VC corner. I’ve been to both before but am a bit better informed now. Magicfingers, will you be in the area when I’m there by any chance?

    • Magicfingers says:

      Iain, I have just been video calling with Baldrick no less than half an hour ago, and we were discussing a May trip, funnily enough. If so, by coincidence, Le Touret is almost certainly on my list too. So, stranger things……

  10. Nick Kilner says:

    No problem at all gentlemen. He’s not always the best at replying to emails, so a phone call might be favourite 🙂

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