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87th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery




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87th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery were attached to 19th (Western) Division. During the Battle of Messines, on the 7th of June 1917 they were in the area of the Hollandscheschuur crater



Those who served with The 87th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

at The Battle of Messines.

  • Sellens  MM.
  • William Charles Henry A/Sgt.
  • Stopford  DCM, MM.
  • Frederick Gnr.




    Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]


    BENEATH HILL 60 tells the extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward, the legendary Australian metal scientist. In 1916, Woodward faced the most difficult decision, ultimately having to separate from his new young love for the deadly carnage of the Western Front. On treacherous territory, behind the German enemy lines, Woodward and his secret platoon of Australian tunnelers face a suicidal battle to defend a leaking, tunnel system. A tunnel packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.
    More information on:

    Beneath Hill 60 [DVD]




    Artillery Operations of the Ninth British Corps at Messines, June 1917

    Army War College (U.S.)





    Hill 60: Ypres (Battleground Europe)

    Nigel Cave


    The shell-ravaged landscape of Hill 60, some three miles south east of Ypres, conceals a labyrinth of tu nnels and underground workings. This book offers a guide to the memorials, cemeteries and museums at the site '


    Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]

    Will Davies


    'Ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one - fire! Down goes the firing switch. At first, nothing. Then from deep down there comes a low rumble, and it as if the world is spliting apart...' On 7th June 1917, nineteen massive mines exploded beneath Messines Ridge near Ypres. The largest man-made explosion in history up until that point shattered the landscape and smashed open the German lines. Ten thousand German soldiers died. Two of the mines - at Hill 60 and the Caterpillar - were fired by men of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, comprising miners and engineers rather than parade-ground soldiers. Drawing on the diaries of one of the key combatants, "Benealth Hill 60" tells the little-known, devastatingly brutal true story of this subterranean war waged beneath the Western Front - a stygian battle-ground where men drowned in viscous chalk, suffocated in the blue gray clay, choked on poisonous air or died in the darkness, caught up up in vicious hand-to-han
    More information on:

    Beneath Hill 60 [Paperback]




    A Soldier in World War I: The Diary of Elmer W. Sherwood

    Robert H. Ferrell & Elmer W. Sherwood


    In April 1917 a sophomore from Indiana University, inspired by the stories of his grandfather’s service in the Union army during the Civil War, left school and enlisted with a National Guard unit in Indianapolis that became the 150th Field Artillery Regiment. Before long the young man, Elmer W. Sherwood, found himself in the thick of fighting in France, as his artillery regiment served in combat with the 42nd (Rainbow) Division, including the horrendous Meuse-Argonne offensive that claimed 26,000 American lives. Sherwood, who described himself as the Rainbow Hoosier, kept a diary of his time overseas, including his experiences in the army of occupation following the war’s end. Published by the Indiana Historical Society Press and edited by Robert H. Ferrell, Indiana University distinguished professor of history emeritus , A Soldier in World War I: The Diary of Elmer W. Sherwood, captures the words of the Hoosier soldier as he wrote them on the front lines. Corporal Sherwood tells of t


    Retreat and Rearguard 1914: The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne

    Jerry Murland


    The British action at Mons on 23 August 1914 was the catalyst for what became a full blown retreat over 200 blood drenched miles. This book examines eighteen of the desperate rearguard actions that occurred during the twelve days of this near rout. While those at Le Cateau and Nery are well chronicled, others such as cavalry actions at Morsain and Taillefontaine, the Connaught Rangers at Le Grand Fayt and 13 Brigades fight at Crepy-en-Valois are virtually unknown even to expert historians. We learn how in the chaos and confusion that inevitably reigned units of Gunners and other supporting arms found themselves in the front line.


    Defiance!: Withstanding the Kaiserschlacht

    G H F Nichols


    George Nichols was an artillery officer serving with the 82nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He was wounded in 1917, and returned to the guns in March 1918, just in time to experience the fury of the Kaiserschlacht, the great German offensive designed to knock the British army out of the war. Nichols wrote a powerful account of the Kaiser's last great offensive battle from inside the eye of the storm, and it is one of the few primary source accounts which are told from the often overlooked perspective of the British artillerymen. Nichols, with wonderful British reserve, records how the men of the Royal Field Artillery steadfastly manned their guns. Nichols survived the onslaught and in 1919, was able to produce a full account of both the retreat and the British counter-attack which won back the lost ground. First published in 1919, while censorship was still in force, this wonderful primary source has long been out of print and it's welcome return makes for essential reading for anyon


    Plough & Scatter: The Diary-Journal of a First World War Gunner

    J. Ivor Hanson & A Wakefield


    J. Ivor Hanson's personal diary describes his experiences as a gunner on the Western Front in the First World War, which left a deep and lasting impression on him. He wrote about the officers and men with whom he served, and the horror and humour of trench life - all subjects of Hanson's intense scrutiny and incisive wit. He vividly describes the German Army's crushing Spring Offensive in March 1918, when the British Army on the Western Front was almost pushed back to the Channel coast. Imperial War Museum historian Alan Wakefield has edited the diaries and provides engaging explanatory narratives for each chapter to set them within the context of the First World War.


    The Young Gunner: The Royal Field Artillery in the Great War

    David Hutchison


    The Young Gunner describes the history of the Royal Field Artillery in France and Flanders in the Great War, including the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The book is based on the letters and journals of Second Lieutenant Colin Hutchison who joined the army aged 19 just before the war started. He found himself in command of a single gun in battle in 1914, a section of guns in 1915, a battery of six guns in 1916, and a brigade of 24 guns by the end of the war. He tells the story of front line action in thirteen battles on the Western Front, including Mons 1914, Ypres 1915, The Somme 1916, Passchendaele 1917 and Ypres 1918. His personal stories are inspiring, but more importantly his letters and journals describe, in a consistent style, not only life on the front line with the artillery, but also the details of his tactical deployment in battle.David explains, from his perspective, why so many men died unnecessarily in that war, and why the changes in tactical thinking he saw as necessary t




    If you know of anyone who served with this unit at the Battle of Messines, please complete the form below so that they can be remembered.

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