36 Casualty Clearing Station located

Back in February I asked the question Where was 36 Casualty Clearing Station in July 1916? I thought I’d pretty well exhausted all avenues, particularly as I’d gone through the unit’s war diary up to the time they left the area. However, the most recent commenter (Tim) on that original post also contacted me shortly after via the Great War Forum to say he’d found a plan of the CCS at Heilly. At the very end of the 1917 war diary (WO 95/344/9), which I hadn’t looked at as it was long after they moved on, is a plan dated May 1916 showing the CCS at Heilly in relation to the station. This was just what I had been hoping for originally!

A plan drawn in pen on heavy paper, showing the layout of the casualty clearing station with pairs of tents in four lines at right angles to a railway

Plan of 36 Casualty Clearing Station dated May 1916. The plan is not conventionally oriented with north at the top, there is a compass marker at the top of the plan, a little to the right of centre, indicating north. The railway station is at the bottom of the plan, the level crossing, and the Mericourt-Corbie road are all indicated. At the bottom left is the name of the surveyor, “E Spencer Bourne Capt RTO Heilly”, probably Captain Ernest Spencer Bourne of the Railway Transport Executive, posted as the Rail Transport Officer at Heilly at the time. Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence.

In addition to the orientation on the plan, the scale is marked at the bottom of the map, 1″ to 66′ (1 inch to 66 feet). This seemed a slightly odd scale until I realised that this was the same as 1 inch to 22 yards. That 22 yards is the length of a cricket pitch is no coincidence, this is the length of a surveryor’s chain, and a therefore a standard unit of measure in surveying.

I’ve also made an attempt at overlaying the map on Google Earth, it matches pretty closely to the roads and railways, but possibly the level crossing has been moved slightly. Either that, or the plan just needs a little more rectification due to the slope of the ground.

Satellite view of the area round Heilly Station with the clearing station plan overlaid

Plan overlaid on Google Earth imagery, also showing my original guesses at location. Though at the wrong end of the field, my yellow marker seems to match quite closely in size to the three rows of tents closest to the road leading to the station

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One thought on “36 Casualty Clearing Station located

  1. Pingback: Where was 36 Casualty Clearing Station in July 1916? | halfmuffled

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