On the Trail of Martin O’Meara VC

I’ve just returned from a quick trip to France and Belgium where I was able to visit several places associated with the military service of Martin O’Meara VC. In particular, I was able to visit (again) the area near Mouquet Farm where he earned his VC in August 1916 (and was wounded for the first time)¬†and to make visits to the areas near Bullecourt and Messines where he was wounded in the lead-up to the 16th Battalion’s assault on the Hindenburg Line in April 1917 and where he was wounded east of Messines whilst in the front-line following the Allied assault on the Messines Ridge in June 1917.

The picture below shows the area where the 16th Battalion was located in early April 1917 – the village of Noreuil is to the right (south) and the Hindenburg Line was to the left (north). O’Meara was a scout and was involved in patrolling No Man’s Line up to the German lines ahead of the assault and was wounded (and evacuated) prior to the assault itself. I have also included a picture of the only evidence that remains of the events of 1917 – unexploded ordnance piled alongside farm tracks awaiting removal by the French authorities.