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Australian War Memorial Tour of the Western Front 2007


Lochnagar Crater, Pozieres, 1st Australian Division Memorial, Mocquet Farm, Thiepval, Newfoundland Park, Heilly and Albert



1st Division Memorial

        

Located at Pozieres,it is easily seen from the D929 Albert-Bapaume road. During the battle for Pozieres in July 1916, the 1st Division were under continuous heavy artillery fire. When the Division withdrew on 27 July 1916 they had lost 5,285 officers and men in four days. The 2nd Division relieved the survivors of the 1st Division.



A fatigue party from the Australian 7th Brigade (Australian 2nd Division) pass the former German bunker known as "Gibraltar" at the western end of Pozières, 28 August 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. The infantry are laden with empty sandbags, heading towards the fighting around Mouquet Farm, north of Pozières.


Date: 28 August 1916.

Credit: British Official Photographer


Pozieres: The "Windmill Site"

Although originally dedicated to the 2nd Division, has a national flavour and is situated further north of the 1st Division Memorial toward Bapaume. This unusual monument is a square of formerly shell-torn ground where the windmill once stood and where so many Australians fought and died. A stone bench carries the inscription: 'The ruin of Pozieres windmill which lies here was the centre of the struggles in this part of the Somme battlefield in July and August 1916. It was captured on 4th August by Australian troops, who fell more thickly on this ridge than any other.'

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Pozières is a village in Somme, France, located between Albert and Bapaume, on the Pozières ridge. The village was completely destroyed in World War I during what became the Battle of Pozières, which was part of the Battle of the Somme.


The village was subsequently rebuilt, and is now the site of several war memorials. The Australian flag flies over Pozières in recognition of the sacrifice of the ANZACS in the Battle of Pozières. Amongst the British and other Commonwealth forces who fought at Pozières, the Australians suffered over 5,000 killed, wounded or taken prison.


The Battle of Pozières was a two week struggle for the French village of Pozières, and the ridge on which it stands, during the middle stages of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. While British divisions were in action during most phases of the fighting, Pozières is primarily remembered as an Australian battle. The battle ended with the British forces in possession of the plateau north and east of the village and in a position to menace the German bastion of Thiepval from the rear. However, the cost had been enormous and in the words of Australian official historian Charles Bean, the Pozières ridge is "more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth."


The village of Pozières, on the Albert-Bapaume road, lies atop a ridge approximately in the centre of the British sector of the Somme battlefield. Closeby the village is the highest point on the battlefield and, while the Somme terrain is only gently undulating, any slight elevation aided observation for artillery.


Pozières was critical to the German defences; the fortified village formed an outpost to the second defensive trench system which became known to the British as the "Old German Lines" or "O.G. Lines". This German second line extended from beyond Mouquet Farm in the north, ran behind Pozières to the east then south towards the Bazentin ridge and the villages of Bazentin le Petit and Longueval.





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