Monday, 2 April 2007

Chapter 23: La Boisselle 2 Feb - 18 March 1917

Gargoo named his house in Dandenong La Boisselle. Mum lived there as a baby and young child.

The 11th Battery of the 4th Australian Field Artillery made its Wagon Lines at La Boisselle between 3 February and 18 March 1917. The guns went into action in rear of Martinpuich. On 18 March they left La Boisselle and established Wagon Lines between Le Sars and Le Barque, at a place called “La Coupe Goule”, outside Bapaume.

Click for photo of wooden cross where la Boisselle once stood. 1917. [AWM H08771]

Percy's granddaughter, Sally, and great grandson, Ben at la Boisselle, May 2003

From October 1914 the front line stabilised in the sector of La Boisselle. The German and French lines faced each other here until the arrival of the British in July 1915. The British took the village on 2 July 1916 and occupied it until March 1918. They were then pushed out by the German offensive. The British recaptured it in August 1918.

Sally and Ben at the sign commemorating the British front line, La Boisselle. May 2003

La Boisselle was the scene of mine warfare undertaken by both the French and Germans from the beginning of 1915 and then by the British to open breaches in the enemy lines, for the offensive of 1 July 1916.
The Lochnagar Crater is the largest and best preserved of the mine craters in the British sector. It was created by the detonation of 27 tonnes of ammonal explosive. It is 100 metres in diameter and 30 metres deep. The detonation took place at 7.28am on 1 July 1916.

Lochnagar crater. May 2005
Aerial view of Lochnagar Crater

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