This is a distant view towards the Pozieres Ridge where modern day buildings now stand on the site of Mouquet Farm, a central bastion in the German lines between July and October 1916 during the Somme Offensive. The shattered farmhouse lay on the crest of the ridge, just left of the track and sat atop deep cellars and tunnels connected to a complex network of German trenches. The defenders had a superb view across the rolling countryside. The image on the right shows how Mouquet Farm looked prior to the First World War.
The farm was nicknamed `Mucky Farm` by the British and `Moo Cow Farm` by the Aussies. On 5 August 1916 the Australians, despite having just lost 17,000 men in the capture of nearby Pozieres were tasked with assaulting the strongpoint. The exhausted troops battled across the torturous slopes but after a month they remained just short of their objective, having suffered another 6,300 casualties in the attempt. The Australians were relieved on 5 September by the Canadians and the strongpoint finally fell to British troops twenty-five days later. Although the offensive moved on, the ground again became a battleground in 1918 during the Kaiser`s Spring Offensive. The aerial photograph (above) of Mouquet Farm was taken on 30 June 1916, the day immediately preceding the start of the Somme Offensive.
Above left: A general view of the battlefield taken in September 1916. The shattered remains of the German strongpoint at the farm is shown on the right.
Above: How the ruins looked in October 2016. The other image, taken in late May 1917, shows dugouts occupied by Allied troops in a quarry near the farm.
Please bear in mind that all images on this website are Copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark. The black & white photographs from the Imperial War Museum`s collection have been used courtesy of its `Share & Reuse` policy and are also subject to copyright restrictions.