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British 18 pounder shrapnel shell head fantastic condition it does have a bit of damage from the impact of being fired. The shell head still with all of its original markings and numbers it is dated 1917 all perfectly clear to read on the bottom and the sides and has its fairly shiny brass colour pretty much all over. The head has been very well cleaned this head is a lovely and cracking find this head has been found many years ago and has been in a private collection originally recovered from chalky ground in the area of Marrett wood which was the scene of the fighting on the 27-28 March 1918 during the battle of Dernancourt with the Germans attacking the wood but being repulsed by the Australian troops of the 38th Battalion. A very rare relic from the 1918 Somme battlefield the scene of the German spring offensive in March- April 1918.
Dernancourt, a village near Albert, witnessed some battles between German troops and 3rd and 4th Australian Divisions in March and April 1918. During World War I. Dernancourt was behind the line of the Allies. However, in March and April 1918, when the Germans attacked the Somme, Dernancourt became the new front line. The village was destroyed by shells and the inhabitants were force to leave. The 3rd and 4th Australian Divisions were asked for help by the end of March 1918 in order to stop the German troops.
The 4th division then decided to put the main line of defence on the hills near Dernancourt and to use the rail backfill as a line of advanced post.
On 3rd and 4th April 1918, the French civilians told the Australians than the German troops were in the village, in their cellars and basements. The German launched some attacks and mortar fires during two hours. Then the German tried to take the Australian position. After intense battles, the Germans were pushed back by the Australian bayonets. Some months after this defeat, the German Army was beaten.