Maps of the Western Front – what can you discover ?

In several previous posts on mapping we have mentioned the use of Ozie Explorer. You can see all map posts here. You have a vast collection of maps at your disposal – if you can just access them.


They download easily but are large, so you may have to convert them to “png” – google convert TIFF to PNG

You may be able to import them into the fantastic program Ozie Explorer

Then you look for road junctions etc on Google Earth and locate them on your Ozie Explorer screen – all you need is four points to Geo reference the WW1 Trench Map

Then you are away to the Bunker # 7

A sample of how you can correlate Map References of WW1 is here – it covers the movements of the 54th Battalion at Passchendaele – click to see the PDF.

Where do the maps come from ? All about how they came to McMaster University here.

McMaster University Library is home to one of the largest collections of World War I trench maps in the country after acquiring a significant collection from Dr. Peter Chasseaud, the world’s leading expert in First World War military maps.

The acquisition of more than 900 maps will triple the Library’s trench map collection.

Chasseaud has been building his collection in the UK since 1964.  Now, thanks to funding from the Movable Cultural Property Grants Program on behalf of the Honorable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the maps will soon have a Canadian home, providing a significant resource for those interested in Canada’s participation in the Great War.

Many of these maps, originally produced by the British Ordnance Survey, were the only maps available to the Canadian Forces during World War I, covering areas and actions of historical Canadian significance such as “Preparation for Battle of Arras, Vimy, March 1917” and “Cambrai Battlefield – North: Final Advance 1918”. MORE HERE

Some items from the McMaster University Map Collection are here or see below

“The Body Snatchers”: Trench Raid at Roclincourt

Canadians were credited with the invention of the “Trench Raid” during the First World War; the tactic was first used in 1915.

“Support and Substitution”: Women’s Roles during World War I

A series of leaflets, directed at women in Canada and Britain during the First World War, provides insights into both the British and Canadian governments’ efforts to actively involve women in the struggle for victory.

The Vimy Pilgrimage

Pilgrimages to the sites of First World War battles by veterans and the bereaved began immediately after the war’s conclusion and continued throughout the 1920s and 1930s. McMaster’s small collection, consisting of a telegram, programmes, menus, newspapers, post cards, and a commemorative medal, relates to the inaugural pilgrimage to the Vimy Ridge Memorial in 1936.