Thursday, 25 August 2016

The hunt for William Richardson continues ... and leads to the discovery of some very interesting maps

Sue and I went back to the National Archives, Kew, yesterday to continue searching for information about the career of William Richardson. We had a degree of success (we now have details of his promotion to Sergeant Major of the First battalion, Royal Artillery in 1811 and his pay records for 1824) but we are still looking for information that will fill in the gap between 1811 and 1822. I did find his entry on the relevant Description Book (a register of every recruit into the Royal Artillery) but not much more ... so we will have to return in the not too distant future to continue our search.

Whilst we were at the National Archives we paid a visit to the onsite shop. Besides all sorts of genealogical and historical publications that they sell, they also sell a range of reproduced old maps. These are published by Alan Godfrey Maps, and after we returned home we both had a browse through the company's website. The company specialises in reprinting of Old Ordnance Survey Maps of towns throughout Britain and Ireland ... but it also reprints other old, historical maps. These include the Bigot Plans that were prepared for the Allied Invasion in 1944, and a section of one of these maps (taken from the company's website) is shown below:

The series currently includes:
  • NE St Pierre du Mont – Omaha Beach 1944: The map covers the coastal area around Pointe du Hoc and Vierville-sur-Mer.
  • NW Ouistreham – Pegasus Bridge 1944: The map is double-sided and covers the area around the bridge that is now known as Pegasus Bridge and the area from Ouistreham in the north, southward to Herouvillette, and westward to Cazelle.
  • SW St Aubin – Sword & Juno Beaches: The map covers the area north of the Ouistreham map including St Aubin, and Langrune-sur-mer, and includes parts of Juno and Sword beaches.
Alan Godfrey Maps also sell maps of parts of Germany (mainly the Ruhrgebiet and Rhineland areas) that are taken from the British War Office 1:12,500 plans and reduced to approx 1:19,000. These show the areas largely as they were before the bombing raids of 1943-44, and include industrial sites, collieries and transport links (i.e. roads, canals, rivers, and railways). The maps that are available are:
  • Sterkrade & Osterfeld 1944
  • Oberhausen 1944
  • Mülheim-an-der-Ruhr 1944
  • Gladbeck & Buer 1944
  • Schalke, Horst & Bottrop 1944
  • Essen 1944
  • Werden, Kettwig & Villa Hügel 1944
  • Recklinghausen & Herten 1944
  • Gelsenkirchen & Herne 1943
  • Bochum & Wattenscheid 1944
  • Hattingen 1944
  • Castrop-Rauxel (N) 1944
  • Castrop-Rauxel (S) 1944
  • Witten & Langendreer 1944
  • Dortmund (N) 1944
  • Dortmund 1944
  • Hohensyburg 1944
  • Hagen 1944
  • Hamm 1945
  • Duisburg (N): Hamborn & Bruckhausen 1944
  • Duisburg & Ruhrort 1944
  • Duisburg (S): Rheinhausen & Wedau 1944
  • Neuss, Heerdt & Wolzheim 1944
  • Düsseldorf 1944
  • Wuppertal-Elberfeld 1945
  • Wuppertal-Barmen 1945
  • 1 Köln (N) 1944
  • 2 Köln (N) 1944
These maps cost £3.50 each, and I am sure that they will be of interest to quite a few wargamers.


  1. Very interesting Bob- certainly these Maps would be most useful in planning that epic WW2 Battle...Yes, many years ago I built models for a Wargamer that included Pegasus Bridge and the significant buildings near the Bridge/ area of operations - in 1/72nd scale...I built the models from scratch using old black and white photos as the only guide...that was 23 years ago!...Anyways Thanks for the Information. Regards. KEV.

    1. Kev,

      Having been to Pegasus Bridge (both the original one that is now in the nearby museum and its replacement) that must have been some model!

      The company also sells re-prints of old Ordnance Survey maps of the UK, and they would be useful for anyone who wanted to fight a campaign set in the Victorian/Edwardian period ... including the War of the Worlds.

      All the best,


  2. Seems to be buckets of potential in those maps!

    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I have a feeling that I might be buying one or two of them in the near future!

      All the best,