Somme: Hénencourt Chateau

The village of Hénencourt was behind the British lines in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme and was a rest area for troops going to and from the trenches. The chateau was used by various Corps commanders and was a massive complex dating back to the eighteenth century. The woods surrounding it contained a large army camp and by March 1918 the village was full of men again as the German Spring Offensive loomed close. Over the next few months the village came under heavy shell fire and one wing of the chateau was destroyed.

The chateau is now a private residence, open only rarely to the public. In the 1990s I visited it one weekend and found the walls covered in British graffiti, with names of men from the 58th (London) Division being particularly numerous.



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