Relics from the Front Since 2010
  • Rare British 18 pounder high explosive shell head dated March 1917 and stamped again January 1918 fantastic condition battlefield recovered from the Dernancourt area the March 1918 battle on the Somme

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    British 18 pounder high explosive shell head fantastic condition pretty much un damaged just even most of the screw thread is there. The shell head still with all of its original markings and numbers and the rare bit dated March 1917 but written as MARCH 1917 and then stamp again January 1918 all perfectly clear to read and has its dirty brass colour with some original colour in places. The head has been very well cleaned this head has been fired which has ripped of the shell underneath from that but the top is lovely a 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.

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    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 defense 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.

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