Montauban to Longueval and Delville Wood - taken from a helicopter July 2012

Great photo courtesy of http://jeremybanning.co.uk/.  The rolling chalk hills and dense woodland has changed little from 1914 – although the villages were flattened by artillery fire and woods became a mass of splintered timber during hostilities.

I’m showing Jeremy’s picture to show the beautiful wide horizons and ‘big’ sky; similar to David Hockney’s paintings of the Yorkshire Wolds.  Back on track, the corner of Bernafay Wood can be seen on the right of the image.  The trench of Montauban Alley extended to the Wood, across the first fields beyond trees at the edge of the village.  The 16th Manchesters occupied Montauban Alley on the 1st/2nd July and the 17th Manchesters occupied Triangle Point, slightly to the left of the view.  This was the point of the furthest sustained advance by the British IVth Army on the first day of the Somme.

The area beyond Montauban towards Longueval is infamous for the ferocious battles that took place in mid-July, particularly those concerning the South African Infantry, which was almost wiped out in the area shown in this image. South African forces in the British Army of 1914-1918

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