We visited the South African National Memorial at Delville Wood. 229,000 South African men fought in The Great War and more than 11,000 died.

Delville Wood was sometimes known as Devil’s Wood and the fighting there was particularly ferocious. The majority of the wood was eventually taken by South African soldiers on 15th July 1916.

After the war South Africa purchased the site in 1920, and it serves as a memorial to those of that nation who fell, not just here but elsewhere.

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The grassy woodland paths still have the names given to them by the British troops and can be seen on the trench maps at the time.

 

 

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Just beyond the museum is a Hornbeam tree which is the last to survive from the pre war years. battletree

The stone says. ‘This Hornbeam is the only surviving original tree of the battles of 1916.’

 

 

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