Webmatters Title
Webmatters : The Monuments at Pozières
Rough Map of Area

Pozières

The Memorials

Pozières Memorial to the Missing

Approaching from Albert you pass the Pozières Memorial to the Missing and British Cemetery on your left.

Pozières British Cemetery

The Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died in France during the Fifth Army area retreat on the Somme from 21st March to 7th August 1918.

The Memorial encloses the Pozières British Cemetery within which lie 2,755 Commonwealth approximately half of whom are unidentified

 

King’s Royal Rifle Corps

KRRC Memorial at Pozières

Continuing towards Pozières you will see this cross on the right hand side of the road.

The KRRC was in fact a regiment made up of a number of battalions and not a Corps. The same can also be said for its light infantry cousin, The Rifle Brigade – also a regiment.

The cross is the regimental memorial in France and is dedicated :

To the memory of officers and men who gave their lives on the battlefields of France fighting in the cause of liberty and justice.

 

1st Australian Division

1st Division AIF Pozières

Shortly afterwards there is a small lane to your left and this leads to the 1st Australian Division Memorial. The Division was responsible along with the 48th (South Midland) Division for taking Pozières on the 25th July 1916.

The remains of Gibraltar bunker at Pozières

Just to the right is the Gibraltar Blockhouse — or at least what is left of it. The original structure stood three metres above ground but subsequent fighting destroyed that layer and all that now remains to be seen (But not entered) is the basement.

The Gibraltar lookout at Pozières

There is a tower on your right from which you can look out over the area where the German trench system ran. If it is wet be careful of the timber steps if they are muddy.

Thiepval seen from the 1st AIF Monument

Thiepval Memorial on the left and in the clump of trees to the right, the Ulster Tower

The view is superb and Thiepval can usually be seen crowning the ridge in the distance. To its right is a line of trees marking the Grande Ferme and the furthest point of advance made by the Ulstermen of the 36th Division on the 1st July 1916.

 

Pozières Mill

Looking from the Pozières Mill towards Thiepval

Looking from the Pozières Mill towards Thiepval
Mouquet Farm is just behind the mound of chalk on the right

At the far end of the village on the summit of the hill is the Pozières Mill memorial to the 2nd Australian Division. It marks the former site of the old windmill all of which remains is the small hummock. It is easily located from anywhere in the neighbourhood by looking out for the radio mast which sits on the right (Behind the Tank Corps Memorial).

A simple pathway leads up to the mound that was the mill. It had been reduced to rubble long before the Australians finally took it.

2nd Division AIF Pozières Mill

The memorial plaque reads:

The ruin of Pozières windmill which lies here was the centre of the struggles in this part of the Somme battlefield in July and August 1916. It was captured on 4th August by Australian troops, who fell more thickly on this ridge than any other.

Such is the significance of this place to Australians that soil from the site was used in the burial of Australia’s Unknown Soldier in Canberra on 11th November 1993.

In the fighting at Pozières, around the Windmill and later, along the ridge towards Mouquet Farm, the AIF suffered more than 23,000 casualties.

 

Tank Corps Memorial

The Tank Corps Memorial

Directly opposite the Pozières Mill Memorial and in front of the Radio Mast is the Tank Corps Memorial.

It was from near this point that the tank was first used on the 15th September 1916 — actually attacking Flers a few kilometres away immediately behind the monument.

The Tank Corps Memorial is for all the men from the Corps who fell during the war and not simply those that died in their first battle at Flers-Courcelette on 15th September.

The Tank Corps Memorial

The Mk I Tank was the first type of Tank to be used as a fighting vehicle anywhere in the world.

They were very slow and prone to mechanical failure. Only 32 of the intended 50 tanks made it into battle.

Tactically they were poorly used and a golden opportunity was missed.

You will notice that the railing around the obelisk is made up of six pounder barrels and driving chains.