Delville Wood, France - 102 Commemoration Battle of Delville Wood July 2018

Delville Wood was sometimes known as Devil’s Wood, and the fighting there during the battle of the Somme was particularly ferocious. The majority of the wood was eventually taken by South African soldiers on the 15th of July 1916, and they held on grimly during numerous German counterattacks for six days, until they were relieved.


The Battle of the Somme is the first major engagement of South African troops on the Western Front. On July 15, 1916, the Brigade included 121 officers and 3032 men. They suffered intense fighting. On 20 July, South African troops have just over 2,500 soldiers wounded, dead or missing.


After the War, South Africa purchased the site in 1920, and it serves as a memorial to South Africans who fell, not just here but elsewhere.