The Western Front Today - Butte de Warlencourt

Located approximately nine miles from Albert is Butte de Warlencourt, an ancient burial mound that formed the tip of the British advance in 1916 and which dominated the Somme battlefield.

The British reached this position on 17 November having begun an advance from Tara-Usna, 6.5 miles further back, on 1 July.  Throughout that time the average daily casualty rate was 3,000.

Some of the fiercest fighting took place itself on the Butte.  Riddled with tunnels, deep dugouts and heavily defended by mortars, machine guns and belts of barbed wire the Butte commanded the road to Bapaume.

The position changed hands many times (up to 17 according to reports) and it wasn't until 25 February 1917 that the British 151st Brigade finally took and held it, when the Germans retreated to the Hindenburg Line.

A French inscription, repeated in English, at the foot of the mound reads "This site is sacred, respect it.  Passers by you are entering this site at your own responsibility.  British soldiers fell in 1916 in the Battle of the Somme and still lie here."

The Butte was visited by King George V in July 1917.  Today it is the property of the Western Front Association (WFA).

A half mile from the Butte de Warlencourt is the Warlencourt cemetery holding in excess of 3,000 burials.

Before Endeavours Fade, Rose E.B. Coombs, After the Battle 1994
Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide - Somme, Leo Cooper 2000

'Alleyman' was British slang for a German soldier.

- Did you know?