Pozieres - History and Facts | History Hit


Pozieres, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy, France

Pozieres was the site of a major battle between Allied and German forces in 1916 during the First World War, forming the first part of the Battle of the Somme.

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About Pozieres

Pozieres in France was the site of the Battle of Pozieres in World War One, in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

Pozieres history

Starting in the summer of 1916, the Battle of Pozieres was the first of numerous battles together known as The Battle of the Somme. Before the battle, the village of Pozieres was a vital strategic point for German forces, its elevated location along the Thiepval-Ginchy ridge providing critical defence.

The Battle of Pozieres was carried out into two tranches, the first to capture the German Pozieres Trench and the second to capture the defences known as the ’Old German Lines’.

Fighting was initially carried out by the British Third and Fourth Armies, who were then joined and relieved by numerous Australian infantry units. At the end of the Battle of Pozieres, the Allies emerged victorious, marking a significant loss for the German army. However, this victory came at a heavy price.

The Battle of Pozieres claimed the lives of thousands of British and Australian soldiers, making it one of the bloodiest battles on the western front. The Australian forces, including the first, second and fourth Australian Divisions suffered significant losses, having carried out the majority of the offensive.

Pozieres today

Today, visitors can follow the battle with signs and information panels and view the site of the Battle of Pozieres, including its Tank Memorial and the remnants of the Gibraltar blockhouse which was a German observation tower. There is also a cemetery and several obelisk shaped memorials. Poziers is one of the sites that make up the Circuit of Remembrance, a route along which visitors can explore the Battlle of the Somme.

There are now 2,758 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery at Pozieres. 1,380 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 23 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There is also one German soldier buried here. The cemetery and memorial were designed by W.H. Cowlishaw, with sculpture by Laurence A. Turner. The memorial was unveiled by Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien on 4 August 1930.

Getting to Pozieres

Pozieres is a village 6 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert. The Memorial encloses Pozieres British Cemetery which is a little south-west of the village on the north side of the main road, D929, from Albert to Pozieres. On the road frontage is an open arcade terminated by small buildings and broken in the middle by the entrance and gates.

There is free parking on site.

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