Relics from the Front Since 2010
  • British 13 pounder shrapnel shell head fantastic condition original colour with shrapnel balls attached recovered from the Dernancourt area the March 1918 battle on the Somme

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    This is a British 13 pounder shrapnel shell head fantastic condition pretty much un damaged and complete very rare to find in such good condition even has 2 shrapnel balls attached to the bottom stuck there by the heat of the shell when it blew up. The shell head still with some of its original markings and numbers including no date all fairly clear to read and has all of its original brass colour and has been very well cleaned this head has been fired with some damage underneath from that but the top is perfect but a cracking find this head has been found many years ago and has been in a private collection originally recovered in the area of Marrett wood area 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 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.

    QF 13-pounder gun - Wikipedia