Mémorial Sud-Africain Delville Wood

Memorial in Somme Battlefields & Memorials

The memorial (1926) and star-shaped museum (1986), a replica of Cape Town's Castle of Good Hope, stand in the middle of Delville Wood, where in July 1916 the 1st South African Infantry Brigade was nearly wiped out in hand-to-hand fighting that obliterated all the trees. In 2016, the names of all the South Africans who died in WWI were inscribed on a memorial wall.

During the 1916 offensive, pre-existing paths through Delville Wood were named for well-known streets in London and Edinburgh. Today, the area is still considered a cemetery because so many bodies were never recovered. Inside the museum, apartheid-era bronze murals portray black members of the South African Native Labour Corps (black South Africans were banned from combat roles) without shirts – despite the often chilly European weather. The memorial and museum are 15km east of Albert.

Advertisement