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

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  • South African Services 6586 Private 3rd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood

  • South African Services 24 Lance Corporal South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood as a Private

  • Born 1876

    South African Services 3657 Company Sergeant Major 2nd South African Infantry Wounded as a Corporal at Delville Wood and Warlencourt

  • Born 1881

    Died 1918

    South African Services 2581 Corporal 4th South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood as a Private with 3rd SAI

  • South African Services 5027 Private 1st South African Infantry M.M. for gallantry at Longueval

  • Profile picture for John Christopher St George

    Born 1894

    Died 1916

    South African Services 5599 Private 2nd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood

  • South African Services Lieutenant 4th South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood

  • South African Services Captain Medical Services

  • Born 1894

    South African Services 582 Private South African Infantry Attached as a Signaller to Brigade HQ at Delville Wood, M.M.

  • South African Services 90 Private 3rd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood

  • South African Services 4418 Private 2nd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood, awarded M.M.

  • South African Services Major South African Medical Corps, Medical Officer of the 4th South African Infantry D.S.O. for Bernafay Wood and Longueval

  • South African Services 4399 Private South African Infantry Battalion Wounded at Delville Wood, awarded M.M.

  • Born 1898

    South African Services 8130 Corporal 2nd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood as a Private

  • South African Services 2418 Private 2nd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood

  • South African Services 429 Private 2nd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood, D.C.M.

  • South African Services 2175 Private 2nd South African Infantry Wounded at Delville Wood

  • Died 1917

    South African Services 8484 Private 2nd South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood

  • Born 1880

    Died 1918

    British Army Captain London Regiment

    South African Services 216 Staff Sergeant South African Field Ambulance D.C.M. for Bernafay Wood, also at Delville Wood

  • South African Services 5241 Private 4th South African Infantry Fought at Delville Wood