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Wilfred Owen's Places: The Sambre-Oise Canal

The Ors Canal

This view of the Sambre-Oise canal was taken from the canal bridge looking in the direction of ***Landrecies, a village about a mile beyond the bend in the canal. It was in the middle distance that the 2nd Manchesters (including Wilfred Owen) with the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers on their left flank attacked across the canal from the towpath on the left hand side of the picture, in order to reach the enemy held canal bank seen on the right hand side of the photograph.

*** Landrecies: During the retreat from Mons, General Sir Douglas Haig in command of I Corps reached here on 25th August 1914 where the 3rd Coldstream Guards fought a rearguard action. It seems General Haig never forgot Landrecies- among other, perhaps more serious events, he apparently left his watch with a local watchmaker for repair, returning in 1918 to claim it (without success)!

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