A Virtual Battlefield Tour – The Somme From Above

Lochnagar Crater
Bing maps
Lochnagar Crater (Bing maps)

The Lochnagar mine was a mine dug by the Tunnelling Companies of the Royal Engineers under a German field fortification known as Schwabenhöhe, in the front lines at the Somme offensive. The mine was named after Lochnagar Street, the British trench from which the gallery was driven.

It was one of eight large and eleven small mines that were placed beneath the German lines on the British section of the Somme front. The Lochnagar mine was sprung at 7:28 a.m. on 1 July 1916, the First day on the Somme. The crater was captured and held by British troops but the attack on either flank was defeated by German small-arms and artillery fire, except on the extreme right flank and just south of La Boisselle, north of the new crater. The crater has been preserved as a memorial, where a service is held on 1 July each year.

Pozieres Cemetery and Memorial
(Bing maps)

There are now 2,760 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,382 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 23 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There is also 1 German soldier buried here.

The cemetery is enclosed by the POZIERES MEMORIAL, which relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918.

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 21 March to 7 August 1918. The Corps and Regiments most largely represented are The Rifle Brigade with over 600 names, The Durham Light Infantry with approximately 600 names, the Machine Gun Corps with over 500, The Manchester Regiment with approximately 500 and The Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery with over 400 names.

Delville Wood / Longueval
Delville wood
(Bing maps)

The Delville Wood South African National Memorial is located near the commune of Longueval, in the Somme. It is opposite the Delville Wood Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, on the other side of the Longueval–Ginchy road.

There are 5,523 burials and commemorations in the Delville Wood cemetery. 3,593 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 27 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of three soldiers buried in Courcelette Communal Cemetery German Extension, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.

Fricourt German Cemetery
(Bing maps)

Fricourt German war cemetery is near the village of Fricourt, near Albert, Somme. Most of the fallen were members of the Imperial German 2nd Army.

Of the 17,031 burials, about 1,000 died in the autumn of 1914 and the ensuing trench warfare; about 10,000 during the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916); and the final 6,000 in the Spring Offensive of 1918 and the ensuing Allied counter-attack, the Hundred Days offensive.


Wikipedia / Cwgc.org / Bing Maps