Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Somme Battlefield
Memorable Names & Sites of Remembrance

According to one accounting there are about 270 official cemeteries and memorials on the Somme battlefield. To complete our week at the Somme, we are going to visit some of the lesser-known of these. Our contributing editor, Kimball Worcester, is going to help with the pronunciations. Her system is a non-academic approach to phonetic transcription aimed at giving reasonably accurate, clear, and simple direction for English speakers who want to have some insight into pronouncing these words and names. The bolded and blue syllable is the one to stress, as in bolded.

1. Aveluy (Avlooy), Lancashire Dump, Cemetery

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Considered to Be Among the Most Peaceful Settings on the Somme Battlefield

2. Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers (Flairh)

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Near the Site of History's First Tank Attack

3. Canadian Memorial Courcelette (Koorselet)

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Monument to the Somewhat Forgotten Canadian Effort in September 1916

4. German Cemetery, Fricourt (Freekoor)

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Large German Cemetery Close to the Jump-Off Line of 1 July 

Temporary Burial Site of Richthofen

5. Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers-la-Boisselle

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Very Close to Lochnagar Mine Crater

6. 1918 Memorial at Pozières (Pozeeyairuh)

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Closest Major Memorial to the Australian Battlefields of 1916, Though the Burials Are Entirely from 1918

7. Warlencourt (Wahlenkoor), Cemetery, Albert-Bapaume Road

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The Infamous Butte de Warlencourt Is Covered by the Clump of Trees on the Horizon


  1. Marvelous survey of some significant sites, with excellent photos and very accurate pronunciation guide!

  2. I have never seen such extraordinary photos or read about the Battle of the Somme as I have over the week. Thankyou to all the dedicated historians - lest we ever forget.

  3. Exceptional pictures of each cemetery.
    Warlencourt cemetery has 1682 causalities, amongst those are two Americans serving in British Regiments.
    1.Jepps W KiA 7/10/16 from Seattle USA
    2.Myers G KiA 12/10/16 from New Jersey USA.

    Canadian/British cemetery Courcelette has 790 causalities amongst those are 7 Americans from different states, 3 from Michigan,2 from California,1 from N.Y and 1 from Mass, all serving in Canadian regiments all KiA 1916.

    Details from CWGC website