This memorial cross along the D 64, west of Montauban, commemorates the French Captain, Henri Thiéron de Monclin,
and his soldiers of the 5th Company of
the French 6th Infantry Regiment,
killed near this spot on 28 September 1914.
A visit to Montauban and Guillemont,
to Trones Wood, as one of the targets for
the Third Phase of the Battle of the Somme,
the Battles for the Woods.
From the Monclin Memorial on the ridge along the D 64,
the most succesfull advance of 1 July,
we enjoy this observation point,
which gives a excellent view at the edge of Mametz Wood
and Sabot Copse (left), Bazentin le Petit Wood, and behind it, Bazentin le Grand Wood.
A view at High Wood (left), Caterpillar Valley, and Delville Wood.
The Third Phase of the Battle of the Somme started at dawn of the 14th of July with the bombardment of Mametz Wood. During the Third Phase the British concentrated on conquering the woods of the hamlets of Bazentin, Bernafay Wood near Montauban, Trones Wood near Guillemont, High Wood and Delville Wood near Longueval. This Phase would last from 14 July until 15 September 1916.
The British had changed their tactics: at first, before the assault, three days of artillery bombardment, using mainly high explosive shells instead of shrapnel shells, to destroy the barbed wire networks. Then, in the night of the attack itself, the British artillery launched another short introducing bombardment of only 5 minutes, directly followed by an infantry assault at dawn, using "new" flame projectors, under cover of pre-timed, forward rolling artillery fire and smoke curtains. These assaults were directed at the German Second Line roughly between Bazentin le Grand and Longueval.
From 8 until 13 July the British 30th Division concentrated
it’s attacks on Trones Wood.
After 6 days of heavy fighting,
the 30th Division lost 90 officers and 1800 soldiers
in and around Trones Wood.
On 12 July General Ivor Maxse’s 18th Division replaced
the 30th Division in the battle sector of Trones Wood.
At the same time the 7th and 21st Divisions of XV Corps attacked the woods of Bazentin Le Grand and Bazentin le Petit.
The 9th and 18th Divisions attacked
Bernafay Wood and Trones Wood.
Memorial Obelisque for the 18th Division, along the D 64,
on the edge of Trones Wood.
At dawn of 14 July the 12th Middlesex Regiment
under Lt. Col. Frank Maxwell (VC, CSI, DSO (!)),
and the 6th Northampshire Regiment of
the 54th Brigade of the 18th Division,
attacked the German trenches in Trones Wood again.
After six hours and at a cost of 450 casualties
Lt. Col. Maxwell and his troops captured Trones Wood.
Northward panorama, token from Guillemont Road Cemetery.
At the end of the day the British succeeded
to capture Bernafay Wood, the Woods of Bazentin,
and Trones Wood, at a loss of 9.000 casualties.
But High Wood and Delville Wood were still in German hands.
View in the direction of Guillemont Village.
We drive eastward through the village on to the D 20.
On the right side of the road we find this Memorial
for the soldiers of the French 265th Infantry Regiment,
killed in action in this region on 28 August 1914.
A few hundred meters furtheron:
the Memorial for the 20th Light Division,
which took part in the capture of Guillemont on 5 September 1916.
Continue to the next chapter: