Reader’s Question: “Translating” Burial Locations on GRS Forms into Google Map Speak

In mid April, reader “Jean” asked the following question:

How can I “translate” the GRS Form 16 from 28 Mar 1919 “Isolated Grave, Exermont, Ardennes, 35 NE 301.5 E 280.9 N to Google map speak to find the location of Charles T. Hoppas’ first burial?  He was killed 26 Sept. 1918 and now lies in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.  GRS Form #114B Shows “Verdun 35NE 280.9N 301.5E.”  This may be where he was buried in between where he was killed and his final placement.

This webmaster is the first to admit that he is not a technology guru.  Can anyone please help Jean by responding to this post?

2 thoughts on “Reader’s Question: “Translating” Burial Locations on GRS Forms into Google Map Speak

  • Randy Gaulke

    Reader John Snow responded in the FB group with this comment: Randy, Jean: I know of no easy way to do this. One needs to obtain a contemporary map that shows the (French) grid system that was used by the AEF in 1917/18/19, and then locate the indicated grid coordinates by eye. This will get one “close” to the point of interest. The “Verdun 35NE” refers to the particular map that was used; in this case the NE quarter of the larger map “Verdun 35”; The 208N, 301E will lead to the corner of a particular square (1km x 1km) on the map grid, and the decimals .9, .5 to a point within that square. Fortunately, the grid extended across all the field maps, so one does not necessary have to find “Verdun 35NE”. I believe the grid shown on the ABMC maps in the dividionsal Summary of Operations books is the grid. The bad news is that various shorthand notations – dropping some digits to simplify/shorten the numbers — were used to designate locations, so the particular square on the ABMC map may not be designated by 208N, 301E, but by some different code. I am sure there are others on this list that have experience in working out AEF grids in modern terms.


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