A tour of the Battle of the Somme.  
En route photography resourced from Google Street View, other researched sources.
Move your mouse over this map to see the route through this area which saw intensive activity during the Battle of the Somme.
We'll leave the A1 motorway here to Albert, our first stop on this tour.
Have your wallet ready for...
The toll.
Have your Euros ready. Freedom has its price.
After the toll, we head south for a little bit to the junction ahead where we will turn right.
Crossing over the A1 motorway we just left. We're heading west towards Albert.
A gentle climb up rolling hills. This is looking back east towards the A1 motorway.
To the northwest. Quiet but back then the sounds of booming cannon and the crackling of gunfire could be heard.
The 1st and 2nd Calvary Divisions had arrived in France, aloing with the rest of the Indian Expeditionary Force "A". back in 1914. Over the following year and during both Battles of Ypres, they were largely used to reinforce the front line and relieve weary infantry battalions. Simiarly, the Canadian Calvary, which had been formed into a mounted brigade in 1915, were intially sent to Franceon foot to reinforce the depleted Canadian infantry. In 1916, The Canadian Calvary brigade was reconstituted as a mounted infantry and transferred to the 2nd Indian Calvary Division. Although Canadian and Indian calvary units spent much of their time reconnoitering, patrolling and signalling, on July 14th, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, the British 7th Dragoon Guards and Indian 20th (Deccan) Horse launched one of the very few successful calvary charges on he Western Front. For the loss of 8 dead, 100 wounded, and 130 horses lost, the German position at High Woods was taken. - "Soldiers of The King" Historical Presentation (SFU, 2014).
Another view to the north.
To the northeast.
To the west towards Albert.
The region (named "Poppy Country") has a website outlining activities related to the centenary of the Great War.
Click on the sign to access the English version.
Open country near Albert.
Approaching Albert.
Albert and area map. The area was literally flattened during the Great War. A British cemetery (†) is just outside of town.
A roundabout joins the route into Albert. On the right is the road to Courcelette.
This road heads north towards Pozieres and Coucelette the location of intensive activity. We'll be heading there after a visit to Albert.
This road from the roundabout leads to Albert.
Albert. A Renault dealership is open. Albert has about 10,500 citizens. Albert was held by French forces against the German advance on the Somme in September 1914. It passed into British hands in the summer of 1915; and the first fighting in July 1916, is known as the Battle of Albert, 1916. It was captured by the Germans on the 26th April 1918, and before its recapture by the 8th East Surreys on the following 22nd August (in the Battle of Albert, 1918,) it had been completely destroyed by artillery fire.
British Cemetery. There are about 850 British soldiers interred here.
Albert City centre area.
We'll be making turn to the left around this roundabout.
Heading east to the Battle of Somme Museum. In the distance is Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebières. On top was a statue of Mary and the infant Jesus The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebières was hit by a shell on January 15, 1915, and slumped to a near-horizontal position, where however it remained until further shelling in 1918 destroyed the tower. The British said that whoever made the statue fall would lose the war.
The Somme Museum is at the foot of the Basilica. Click to visit their website.
Heading off to our next stop.
A main route northeast.
The road to Courcelette ahead. McDonald's on the right.
Que désirez-vous? Une Salade? Le Big Mac? Avec eau Evian?
A turn here towards the northeast
A cemetery north of Albert.
In June 1916, the front line crossed the Bapaume road between the site of this cemetery and the village of La Boisselle (next stop on our tour). The attack on La Boisselle on 1 July was not successful, and several days passed before the village was taken. The cemetery was begun almost at once by the divisions engaged in this sector. The cemetery has 410 interred, of which 181 are unidentified.
Continuing northeast. The Front Line crossed near here at one point.
Village of La Boisselle
We'll turn off here to visit the Lochnagar Crater ("Le Grande Mine" in French)
A turn right here.
Keeping to the left to continue to the crater.
The Lochnagar mine crater on the 1916 Somme battlefields in France is the largest man-made mine crater created in the First World War on the Western Front. It was laid by the British Army's 179th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers underneath a German strongpoint called “Schwaben Höhe”. The mine was exploded two minutes before 07.30 am Zero Hour at the launch of the British offensive against the German lines on the morning of 1st July 1916
An aerial view northeast during a rememberance service. The people and motor cars provide a sense of scale.
Heading north trowards Pozieres
The Pozieres British Cemetery.
There are 2,755 British interred here, of those 1,355 are unidentified.
The view directly across the highway from the cemetery.
The village of Pozieres was attacked on 23 July 1916 by the 1st Australian and 48th (South Midland) Divisions, and was taken on the following day. It was lost on 24-25 March 1918, during the great German advance, and recaptured by the 17th Division on the following 24 August. There were 5,300 casulties,
the Australians were said to be dazed and haggard after being relieved from the village.
Over there is the memorial to members of the 1st Australian Div. who fought in France 1916-1918.
This viewing platform provides a wide view of the surrounding area, fought during the Battle of the Somme. It faces south.
The tablet on the memorial lists the battle honours. Amongst them are here at Pozieres, and also Passendale Belgium.
A view east south east.
A turn back onto the highway to head northeast.
Ahead is the turnoff to the Newfoundland Memorial near Beaumont-Hamel. Newfoundland sent its own to fight alongside the Canadians and British.
Newfoundland became a Canadian province in 1949.
Click here to complete a virtual tour west to Thiepal and the Newfoundland Memorial through additional regions that saw action in the Great War.
Click to continue the virtual tour north to Bapume, Vimy Ridge, and Belgium.
(c) 2014 78th Fraser Highlanders Fort Fraser Garrison, 1st Signal Corps.