The Killing Ground

The Talus Boise to Delville Wood sector

Note: This is an interactive Google Map. By utilising the zoom-in function ( + button located in top left corner of map), you will obtain a closer view of the map, with location markers distrubuted and individually visible.

After their mauling in Bernafay wood 8 – 10 July, 2nd regiment retired back to Talus Boise to lick their wounds. They remained there until 13July and then decamped to just south of Montauban.  After the initial attack on Delville wood was cancelled on 13 July due to tough German resistance at Trones, the all clear was given around midnight on 14 July. I am standing just outside Montauban looking along the road 2 & 3 SAIR marched, early on 15 July. On the right of the picture about a quarter of the width from the right edge is the northern tip of Bernafay wood, blending into the broad mass of Trones wood further left  (east ) . On the left, just beyond the tip of Trones, one can see Waterlot farm and the first few houses to the south of Longueval…
About 100 metres further along the Montauban/Longueval track. On the right Trones. On the left, Delville wood. This road was marched down by 2nd and 3rd regiments in the darkness of the early morning of 15 July 1916. For most of those men, it was their last road.
We have relocated to the north now, into the northern part of the village of Longueval, looking south for a reverse perspective…
In the centre of Longueval. In the distance on the left is Trones and on the right the grove of trees connecting Trones and Bernafay.Panning a little to the right ( west ) –  is Bernafay in the background.
 We have left Longueval and are standing to the north of the village. The New Zealand memorial is directly behind us. This area was part of the German trench line overlooking Delville Wood. It was from this direction that the problems really arose for 2nd Regt on 15 July 1916.
Looking up the slope directly behind us. The New Zealand memorial. To the left of picture, High wood. Note how deceptively hilly this area really is. The Germans consistently sited their trenches on high ground overlooking their enemies.
An aerial drone shot of the north. In the centre of this picture is the village of Longueval. In the background, the distinctive spear shape of Trones ( left ) and  Bernafay to its right. The grove of trees linking Trones and Bernafay is clearly visible. To the right of Bernafay can be seen the village of Montauban. Between Montauban and Longueval can be seen a few scattered dots of trees. That was the march route from Montauban  early on the morning of 15 July by 2nd & 3rd regiments.
Down,  onto the Flers road. This road represents the northern boundary of the wood. On the lower right can faintly be seen the yield sign where the road to the New Zealand memorial ( which we have just left ) and this join together, north of Longueval .  On the left is Delville Wood – the exit of Strand Street is about 30 m away behind us on the left.
Further east along the Flers road. What would have been the exit of Strand Street in 1916 is on the extreme lower left.
The boundary fence today. The 1916 exit of Strand Street is just to the right of picture.

Moving east along the Flers Road toward the village of Flers. Delville Wood cuts back sharply here to the south of the road. This was A Company’s northern position in the wood.

Regent street exit as it was in 1916 is centre picture. About ¾ of the picture length( rightwards ) was the remainder of 2A Coy position, and the left hand side or balance was occupied by 2D Coy.. It was in this area that the real fatigue as a result of repeated German counter attacks set in…
The extreme north east corner. 2D Coy position.
Moving further east just past the north eastern extremity… 2 D Coy position ran along the eastern boundary to approximately  south of the rubbish pile in centre.. To the left of that were 3rd regiment D Coy positions. Noticeable to the left ( east ) of the wood, is quite a pronounced depression along which Germans were able to infiltrate under cover of darkness. This added to D Coy`s problems on the night of 15 July 1916.