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

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Pozières Tank Corps Memorial

Your Editor at the Memorial Discussing the Mark-series British Tanks

Commemorating the first use of tanks in history, the British Tank Corps Memorial was an early commemorative addition to the Somme battlefield. Today it is still a must-see on any visit to the Somme. Located where tanks gathered on the evening of 14 September 1916, it is on  the south side of the D929 Albert-Bapaume road just to the north of the village of Pozières and directly across the road from the Windmill of Mash Valley Australian memorial.  

On the morning of 15 September, the tanks attacked in a sub-action of the Battle of the Somme, known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. Of the 36 tanks assembled on this site, seven were attached to the Canadian forces assigned the capture of the village of Courcelette and a sugar factory about half a mile to the east.

1917 Photo of One of the Tanks That Attacked Courcelette on
15 Sep 1916

French Color Depiction of the First Tank Attack, December 1916

The memorial's structure consists of an obelisk, surrounded by four tank models. The models include a basic Mark-series tank, two Whippet tanks, and a gun carrier version. Actual tank parts were used to construct the chains and bollards protecting the monument. The memorial was dedicated in July 1922. The bronze plaques attached to the main monument list the actions in France in which the Tank Corps fought. A smaller memorial is located in the town center in Poelkapelle, Belgium, honoring the Flanders tank actions.


  1. An imaginative touch: the "rope-line" surrounding the memorial is made of bicycle chain, simulating a tank tread.

    Steve Miller

  2. And the cannon barrels that support the chain