Bernafay Wood

The Bernafay Wood sector

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Further northeast, standing near the site of the destroyed former German command post, the “ Glatz Redoubt “.  Looking WnW. Train alley. Talus Boise is to the left (West) and Briqueterrie / Bernafay Wood to the right (East).
Turned the camera to the right( east ) from the same spot. Train alley is just to the left of the picture. In the foreground ahead is a heap of earth and brush that was an old pre war brickworks, known as “ The Briqueterrie “ and farther behind is the southern third of Bernafay Wood. One of the favourable factors in this area for the British, was that French heavy artillery smashed the brickworks and a nearby German strongpoint known as the Glatz redoubt before the attack began on 1 July.
The remains of the brickworks close up. There was fierce fighting here on 1 July. Several hundred Germans are entombed below ground here. It`s not clear why the earth is piled up like this.
Standing at the Brickworks and looking in a north easterly direction, at the south western corner of Bernafay Wood. Visible is traffic on the Maricourt/Longueval road…
On the extreme right is the building of the former station.
Close up near the station building, which despite it`s name is in a clearing in the south of Bernafay Wood. Before WW1, the narrow gauge rail ran from Albert, through Talus Boise and along Train alley past this station. Next stop Trones wood and Waterlot farm…
We have travelled about 800 m north now and are entering the northern end of Bernafay Wood. Here is the northern entrance to the wood walking due south. The train station lies at the other end of the wood. We are slowly walking towards it.
50 m inside the northern boundary of Bernafay, still moving south.  2nd A Coy was deployed here, and lost about 60 men in this area due to heavy shelling.
The floor of the wood is deceptively uneven, and still full of shell holes…
In this northern sector ( about 50 m further south ), there was an old quarry, which was used as a medical triage point and shelter.
Shown below is the place where those who did not succeed the triage ended up. Bernafay Wood cemetery, which is just across the road ( west ) from the quarry position. The only SA man buried here is no 2797 A E Craig, resident of Durban. Born in London in 1892. Most SA casualties of Bernafay wood are buried at Maricourt, or commemorated on the monument to the missing at Thiepval. Lt Mulcahy of 2nd Regt, B Coy is buried at Corbie( Picture 2 B ). In the background left can be seen the Montauban church steeple.
The centre of Bernafay .  2nd D Coy spent time here – and paid for it.  About 200m south of here is the start of where 2nd C Coy were badly mauled by shellfire.
Southern sector. A graveyard, softened by the passage of 100 years to the day. Shellholes all around. 2nd  Regt  C Coy suffered losses here, which I believe led to Col Tanner placing C Coy at the south of Delville Wood, the following week.
 Further south still, getting  close to the southern boundary of Bernafay.  C Coy Golgotha. The losses suffered here by A, C and to a lesser extent D Coy`s 2nd Regt, had a marked impact on the planning for Delville Wood. Overall about 180 men were wounded or killed here. . Because there were only 5 days between between the debacle at Bernafay wood and the entering of Delville Wood on 15 July, it gave little time to bring up reinforcements – such as they were. This is why I believe that Coy`s of 2 Regt were allocated the roles they were in Delville Wood, as a result of their relative strengths after Bernafay.
Having emerged at the extreme south east corner of Bernafay – finally, – looking east  is the southern extremity of Trones Wood. Nemesis of 4th regiment, among many others. The train station lies to our right.