Activity 2: Sector E2, La BoisselleThis page shows the trench map from the 10th Essex Regiment War Diary, January 1916. It has been adjusted ('georegistered') to match the modern map.
The map shows sector E2, manned by Ray and his comrades in the 10th Essex Regiment for various periods in the autumn of 1915. Pages 31-34 of the book have his letters from La Boisselle and extracts from the regimental history. This map has been a little difficult to georegister, because as a map drawn in the trenches, generally from aerial observation, it does not have a large number of points which can be matched to definite features on today's satellite imagery. However, it is quite close to the original. Trench lines can still be seen, 90 years later, in the soil and these can be seen aligned or close to the trenches marked on the map.
Some new features now available from Google have been introduced. A selection of types of map is available by using the drop-down from the 'Map' menu. A Google search box is available at the bottom left of the map. If you have a scroll button on your mouse, it provides a zoom in and out facility. The 'Earth' option requires you to download the browser version of Google Earth; we are hoping to have the overlay maps working with this shortly. 'Earth' is only currently available on the recent IE browsers and on Firefox.
Many of the places are close together, and you may find it helpful to use the zoom tool to move in closer.
The trench map shows Sector E2 and the book recounts Ray's time there, holding the line in late 1915.
On 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the Tyneside Irish and the Tyneside Scottish, both of the 34th division, made the attack - but the village was not taken. It would be four days before the attackers occupied the whole of La Boisselle village. Casualty figures in this sector were some of the worst in the whole of the attack on 1st July 1916.