Delville Wood

  • -

Delville Wood

Tags :

Category : Events , WW1

The Battle of Somme, launched on 01 July 1916, was one of the bloodiest offensives during World War 1. 1 SA Brigade was part of the 9th Division in reserve on the Southern Sector. On 14 July 1916, the 26th Highland Brigade attacked the village of Longueval, situated on a plateau with a small wood of 1 000 metres x 1 400 metres sited directly East of the village. This wood was known as Delville Wood (often referred to as “Devil’s Wood”), comprising of high trees and well-prepared German defences. The wood was criss-crossed by parallel roads with nicknames such as Strand, Regent, Bond, Princess, Buchanan, Campbell and King Streets and Rotten Row. This wood was the key to the battlefields as it influenced the Northern and Eastern flanks of the Southern Sector.

At 00:55 on 15 July 1916, the Commander of 1 SAI Brigade, General Tim Lukin, was ordered to capture Delville Wood and to “hold it at all costs.” The Springboks carried out their mission, surrounded on the Northern and Eastern flank and constantly attacked and shelled by German artillery until 20 July 1916, when Col Frank Thackerey, two wounded officers and 140 men marched out of the wood after being relieved by the Norfolk regiment. On the same day, five officers and 750 men, most of them walking wounded, paraded before their commander.

General Lukin removed his cap and wept unashamedly as his troops marched past with “eyes right”. His troops had heroically held a key position and carried out their mission to hold the position at all costs notwithstanding the appalling casualties they suffered of 763 dead and 297 prisoners of war captured – with wounded, a total of 2 435 casualties.

The main commemoration service is held at the Delville Wood in the Somme, France and is usually held on a weekend in the first weeks of July depending on the French Bastille Day celebration calendar.  Commemoration services in South Africa usually follow the official date set by the Delville Wood memorial in France.  In South Africa commemorations are held in Benoni, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria.

In France, the South African Legion usually has representatives who attend the ceremony at Delville Wood itself, the Legionnaires carry the standards of the various official South African veteran bodies (including the South African Legion’s standards) alongside their French veteran counterparts.


Search this Site

Next Event

Apr
28
Sat
2018
11:00 Nation-Building Tribute -Parliam... @ Parliament Square
Nation-Building Tribute -Parliam... @ Parliament Square
Apr 28 @ 11:00 – 13:00
Nation-Building Tribute -Parliament Square @ Parliament Square | England | United Kingdom
Purpose: In celebrating Freedom Day in South Africa, the South African Legion – England Branch gives tribute to three statesmen whose nation building vision and deeds shaped modern South Africa – Nelson Mandela, Jan Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi, whose statues
Apr
29
Sun
2018
09:30 Anzac Ceremony, Cannock Chase @ Cannock Chase
Anzac Ceremony, Cannock Chase @ Cannock Chase
Apr 29 @ 09:30 – 12:30
Anzac Ceremony, Cannock Chase @ Cannock Chase | Brocton | England | United Kingdom
Britain’s Largest and Longest Running Anzac Ceremony, Cannock Chase. Some interesting links on the Parade: https://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/custom/WW1/anzac-ceremony.html https://salegion.org.uk/event-gallery-2/parades-2017/anzac-parade-cannock-chase-war-cemetery-23-april-2017/ https://youtu.be/uBmEUeJLvXw
May
12
Sat
2018
09:30 Battlefield drive-around Ypres a... @ Menin Gate
Battlefield drive-around Ypres a... @ Menin Gate
May 12 @ 09:30 – May 13 @ 21:00
Battlefield drive-around Ypres and Passchendaele, Last Post Ceremony and Wreath-Laying, Menin Gate @ Menin Gate | Ypres | Flanders | Belgium
Every few years, on the second Sunday in May, the city of Ypres in Belgium hosts ‘The Festival of Cats’ (Kattenstoet) – a spectacular carnival parade that harks-back to the Middle Ages when cats were
May
19
Sat
2018
13:00 SA Legion Social – Southern Afri... @ TBC
SA Legion Social – Southern Afri... @ TBC
May 19 @ 13:00 – 22:30
SA Legion Social – Southern Africa Traditional Style / Makietie / Potjie Kos Competition / Braai / Skookie @ TBC
Purpose: Informal South African Gathering This will be an informal event hosted by the South African Legion – United Kingdom and Europe Southern Africa Traditional Style / Makitie / Potjie Kos Competition / Braai /

Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty
Visit the shop