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Webmatters : 34th Division Memorial at La Boisselle
Rough Map of Area

34th Division

Location

La Boisselle is a village about 5 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert on the D 929 road to Bapaume.

Turn right into the village and onto the road to Contalmaison. Continue past the church — in front of which is the 19th Division’s cross.

The 34th Division’s Memorial sits tight in and set back, alongside the hedge on the left hand side as you leave the village. Look for the water tower as a marker.

 

Background


The 34th Division Memorial at La Boisselle

Victory without her laurel wreath

The monument commemorates the part that the 34th Division had in the heavy fighting in and around the area of La Boisselle in July 1916.

34th Division had been raised as part of Kitchener’s New Army and the Somme was to be their first battle. Formed for the most part by men from Tyneside it also had two battalions of Royal Scots from Edinburgh (One of which, the 16th was the footballers’ battalion).

As part of the great offensive on 1st July 1916 34th Division’s task was to advance towards Contalmaison – the next village – taking La Boisselle, the Schwaben Höhe (Site of the Lochnagar Crater), Sausage Valley and the Sausage Redoubt.

The attacks were met by a hail of fire from German defenders who had been waiting out the week long bombardment in their shelters.

By the evening when the 19th Division took over the front line, Schwaben Höhe and a foothold on the Sausage Redoubt were the only gains that had been made. La Boisselle was still very much in German hands.

 

The 34th Division Memorial at La Boisselle

The 34th Division Memorial at La Boisselle

The 34th Division Memorial

Taking the form of Victory (Sadly, no longer) holding aloft a laurel wreath, it incorporates the Division’s chequerboard emblem.

There is a copy of the monument at Mont Noir on the Franco-Belgian border near Bailleul. That Victory still has her laurel wreath.

There is another memorial to the Division at Langemark near the German Military Cemetery.

 

The other memorials in La Boisselle