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.