Lest we forget – The Battle of Delville Wood


WE WILL REMEMBER THEM: Revered Des Spenceley gave an address to the Moths and the public regarding the soldiers who died at Delville Wood in the First World War, at the Port Alfred Moths Shell Hole on Sunday Picture: ROB KNOWLES

THE Battle of Delville Wood (July 15 to September 3 1916) marks a very special period in South African military history when 2 500 South Africans were killed, their bloodied bodies having to be buried at the site after the battle as transporting them home was impossible.

They are remembered each year on or near July 16.

According to writer Susan Erasmus, “…In just four days between July 15 and 19, the SA Brigade numbering only 3150 men, attached to the 9th Scottish Division, lost 766 men with the dead outnumbering the wounded four to one. At the height of the Battle of Delville Wood, enemy artillery fire reached 400 shells a minute.”

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