Montauban Sucrerie / Briqueterie 1915

Montauban Sucrerie

This is a recent purchase in my non-collection of WWI stuff.  This building was @ 1/2 a mile north of the British Lines in Maricourt and the 17th Manchesters would have seen it in the distance from the Peronne Road in early 1916.

It is a German postcard that I purchased on European Ebay.  I’m a little surprised to see the Infantryman looking so relaxed out in the open.  It’s possible the buildings shielded him from the view of the British machine gunners and snipers.

The site was know as the Briquterie (Brickworks) to the British and the Germans created a major defensive strong point, or redoubt, there by the Summer of 1916.  The week long British bombardment of the German defensives will have flattened any remaining structures by the end of June 1916, but the defenses were still fomidable.

30th Division advanced to Montauban on the morning of 1st July 1916 and the 20th King’s Liverpools secured the Briquterie around mid day.  It became something of a British strong point for future attacks on Bernafay & Trones Wood and Guillemont beyond.  The 17th Battalion will have trooped past the site before their assaults on 9th and 30th July 1916.

The site had so many buried munitions that it was too dangerous to reinstate the land for farming after the war.  We can still recognise and visit the overgown area today.  It is about 100 yds south of the Crossroads near Bernfay Wood.  DO NOT DIG!

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