Authuille Dorset Memorial

Historical Information (Source: Wikipedia)

On the bloody fields of the Somme, the men of Dorset ran to their deaths through piles of dead men. Now have a memorial of their own, an obelisk made of Portland stone.  The idea came from Major Tim Saunders, a former soldier with the Devon and Dorsets turned military historian, and a guide with Shaftesbury-based Old Country Tours.


The memorial honours all of the 4,500 men from the regiment who died on battlefields as far afield as India and modern day Iraq.  It was shaped by Stoneform near Dorchester and carries the crests of the Dorsetshire Regiment, Dorset County Council, and records the regimental battle honours.


Major (Ret) Roger Coleman, 74, from Northbourne in Bournemouth, a member of the Dorset and South Wiltshire Western Front Association, helped with fundraising.  He said the first battalion of the regiment had been based around the Authuille on the night before the Somme offensive began on July 1. Around 19,000 British soldiers died that day.  Mr Coleman said: “The battalion was in the second wave and it lost 350 men. They attacked stumbling over the bodies of the battalion that went in front of them.”