Somme: Delville Wood

Bois de Delville, Delville Wood – or Devil’s Wood to the troops – was a large area of woodland attached to a chateau alongside the village of Longueval. This village was taken by the 9th (Scottish) Division on 14th July 1916 and the South African Brigade of that formation marched into the wood 3,500 strong; after six days of fighting as the wood was held, just 750 South Africans walked out. It became the greatest place of sacrifice for South Africa anywhere on the Western Front and after the war was purchased as a memorial site just after the war was over.

The Delville Wood South African Memorial was designed by War Graves Commission architect Sir Hebert Baker and the main memorial archway had a bronze sculpture of two figures with a war horse. The main inscription on the memorial reads:

Their ideal is our legacy.

Their Sacrifice our Inspiration.

One Comment on “Somme: Delville Wood

  1. I have visited DELVILLE WOOD many times and think it is the most haunting memorial on the Somme. Brian McClure

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