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Delville Wood



Delville Wood is just between the villages of Longueval and Guillemont and was the next stop on our journey of the Battlefields of the Somme.

The sign in the photo points to Delville wood which is down a very quiet side road. It is not until you have travelled a short distance down the road and see the large military cemetery on the right. Then another large one on the edge of the wood you then realise how bad this battle was.

My great granfather died in the battle we visit his grave when we are in the area.



Delville Wood sign


Delville Wood the Somme


A sign on the wall at the wood and one of the cemetery

Deville wood sign

Delville wood cemetery 1 picture

There is a museum and a cafe at the site where you can sit with a coffee and try to imagine what happened in such a nice place.


Delville wood museum

Delville wood cemetery 2 picture

The fight for France and at Delville Wood France started on 14th July. The South African brigade was in charge of this part of France. The South African brigade, a part of the 9th Division, fought till July 20. They were taken over by the 3rd Division and 18th Division and resulted in heavy losses of lives at Delville Wood due to the lack of co-ordination in war strategies.

On July 14, 1916, the South African brigade comprising of 121 officers and 3032 soldiers made an attack on Longueval and Delville Wood. After an intense fighting for six days, Col. Edward Thakeray came out with just two wounded officers and 140 soldiers, leaving the rest, dead or missing. France and at Delville Wood France saw the destruction of 154 acres of trees and scrubland. On July 16, the first V.C was honored to Pte.Faulds, a South African soldier.

Delville Wood saw a change of hands three times during the battle when it was finally overtook by the British army on September 3 in the battle of Guillemont. The Germans were in possession of the eastern part which was later regained by the British army on September 15 at the battle of Flers-Courcelette.

The South African cemetery

Delville wood graves

Delville wood cemetery 3 picture

Google map the visitor centre is on the left


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