South Africans at Delville Wood, Somme, July 1916

South Africans at Delville Wood, Somme, July 1916

The South African National Memorial is at Delville Wood because it was the site of the gallant action of the 1st South African Infantry Brigade from 15th-21st July 1916, where despite losses of two-thirds, it captured and then held the wood against determined German artillery and counter-attacks. "The six days and five nights on which the South Africans held the most difficult post on the British front, a corner of death on which the enemy fire was concentrated at all hours from all sides... constitute an epoch of terror and glory scarcely equaled in the campaign." John Buchan - The South African forces in France. The South African Brigade in France had other hard battles - at the Butte de Warlencourt on 12th October 1916, Arras and the Fampoux debacle in April 1917, and the last stand against the German Spring Offensive at Marrieres Wood on 23rd March 1918 - but for sheer doggedness, Delville Wood is the battle that is revered. (The CWGC remembers 11,352 South African First World War casualties.) There is an excellent website at delvillewood.com which lists all the men present at the rollcall on 14th July, and the equally impressive southafricawargraves.org gives much more information, usually including an image of each soldiers record card. (I've also included British soldiers from 64th Field Company R.E. and 28th Brigade Machine Gun Company, who fought alongside the South African Brigade.)

Created by: , Guy74824

CSV Export
  • Born 1896

    Died 1916

    British Army 89660 Sapper Royal Engineers 64th Company

  • Born 1895

    Died 1959

    South African Services 5751 Private 3rd South African Artillery ? Delville Wood

  • Died 1916

    British Army 672 Lance Corporal Highland Light Infantry

    British Army 18569 Acting Serjeant Machine Gun Corps

    British Army 18569 Sergeant 28th Brigade Machine Gun Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) With the South African Brigade at Delville Wood

  • South African Services 1665/ 1665 Signalling Corporal 3rd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood as a Private

  • South African Services 3120 Sergeant South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood as a Private

  • South African Services 3488 Lance Corporal 4th South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood, M.M.

  • Profile picture for David Balfour Patrick

    Born 1884

    Died 1916

    British Army Second Lieutenant Highland Light Infantry

    British Army Second Lieutenant Highland Light Infantry With the South African Brigade

  • British Army Second Lieutenant West Yorkshire Regiment

    South African Services Private 3rd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood

  • Profile picture for Ian Ramsay Russell

    Born 1882

    Died 1916

    South African Services 217 Sergeant 4th South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood

  • Born 1882

    Died 1916

    South African Services 8478 Sergeant 2nd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood

  • Born 1899

    Air Force (RAF/RFC)

    South African Services Private 3rd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood

  • Profile picture for William Ernest Collins Tanner

    South African Services Lieutenant Colonel 2nd South African Infantry Commanded 2 S.A.I. at Delville Wood, later commanded the South African Brigade

  • Profile picture for John Clark Hilson

    Died 1916

    South African Services 2179 Sergeant 2nd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood, D.C.M.

  • Profile picture for Walter Prentice

    Born 1891

    Died 1918

    British Army 5097 Private South African Immediate Reserve

    South African Services 5097 Corporal South African Infantry 4th Regt

    South African Services 5097 Corporal 4th South African Infantry 4th Regt.

  • South African Services 10386 Private South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood

  • South African Services Captain 3rd South African Infantry Wounded and captured at Delville Wood

  • South African Services 5871 Lance Corporal 4th South African Infantry attached Trench Mortar Battery at Delville Wood

  • Profile picture for Edward Frank Thackeray

    Born 1871

    Died 1956

    South African Services Lieutenant Colonel South African Infantry 3rd Regiment.

  • South African Services 128 Serjeant 3rd South African Infantry At Delville Wood as a Private

  • Born 1893

    Died 1916

    South African Services 3198 Corporal 2nd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood as a Private