IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

THE SOUTH AFRICA Memorial (Delville Wood) (Longueval) (Somme France)

Unavailable casualties

Historical Information from the C. W. G. C.:

THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL MEMORIAL. The Memorial is a flint and stone screen, with a shelter at each end and in the middle an arch, surmounted by figures of a horse and two men (representing the two races of the Union) in bronze. It was unveiled by the widow of General Louis Botha on the 10th October, 1926, a day otherwise memorable in South African history. This Memorial does not bear the names of any dead; those of the South African dead are recorded in the same cemeteries, or on the same memorials, as those of the Corps and Regiments from the United Kingdom. But it is fitting here to refer to the outstanding facts which this Memorial recalls: to the conquest of German South-West Africa in six months by South African troops; to the conquest of German East Africa by a South African Commander at the head of an Army mainly South African; and to the great record of the South African Brigade in France and Flanders. In Delville Wood the three Battalions employed in the capture and defence of the Wood were all but completely destroyed. At Arras and at Passchendaele, in April and September, 1917, they successfully overran the enemy defences. From Gauche Wood and Marrieres Wood, in March, 1918, some 400 transport men and details came back, and the German tribute to the rearguard fighting of the 9th Division is well known. On Messines Ridge, in the following month, they stayed the enemy advance by counter-attack and held the position until the reserves had come up. At Beaurevoir and Le Cateau, in October, 1918, they successfully dislodged the enemy from positions in which he was strongly posted; and on the 11th November, 1918 they were furthest East of all the British troops in France.* The Union sent out on service, during the Great War, 229,000 Officers and men. Of these, some 10,000 were killed in action or died of wounds or sickness; and their names are written in a book kept at the Delville Wood Memorial, on the site where their first great sacrifice was made. * Buchan: The South African Forces in France, page 256.

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Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium