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1871 Monument

1871 Monument https://ngatapuwae.govt.nz/1871-monument Around this monument there was fierce fighting between the New Zealanders and the Germans. Ngā Tapuwae Trails https://ngatapuwae.govt.nz/sites/default/files/stop/media/Western%20Front-Somme%201918-1871%20Monument-Imperial%20War%20Museum-Q_007016.jpg

Around this monument there was fierce fighting between the New Zealanders and the Germans.

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1871 Monument

You are standing at the monument to the Battle of Bapaume in 1871 during the Franco-Prussian War. It is amazing that this monument survived the First World War, and the New Zealanders would have passed it as they fought in this area in 1918.

The Arras-Bapaume Road is behind you, and and as you look to your left, you can see the two spires of Bapaume in the distance. To your right is the side road leading to the village of Biefvillers, and beyond that is Grévillers.

On 24 August, Grevillers is near where the New Zealanders started their offensive on Bapaume. Their plan was to swing round through this open ground, north of the town, and to out flank it. One is very conscious from the traffic on the road, that this is an important communication hub. This is a major road heading north to Arras and beyond, and so the Germans would have been very aware that if they didn’t stop this outflanking movement they wouldn’t be able to hold Bapaume itself. The result - on 25 August, was that around this monument and across the road behind you, there was fierce fighting between the Germans and the New Zealanders. The Otago Battalion, in particular, with British tanks assisting, were tasked with taking the road and they advanced to clear the wood itself. Despite heavy casualties, the wood was taken.

The advance was then held up at this spot, and you can see why, with the rolling country around you, which is ideal for defence. There was evidence that the Germans were blowing up their supply dumps and were getting ready to evacuate Bapaume, this signalled to the New Zealanders that the enemy was about to withdraw - so they continued to push forward.

How to get here

Getting there

Follow the D29 back to the roundabout and take the third exit onto the D929. Continue along the road to the second roundabout and take the third exit onto the D917 signposted Arras and Sapignies.

Continue for about 700 metres, the monument is on your left.

Where to stand

Face the monument with your back to the main road.

GPS
50°7'18"N
2°50'39"E
Decimal GPS
50.12177
2.844314
  • A Whippet tank on its way forward to link-up with the New Zealanders and assist with the capture of Biefvillers. 24 August 1918.
    A Whippet tank on its way forward to link-up with the New Zealanders and assist with the capture of Biefvillers. 24 August 1918.Credits

    © Imperial War Museums (Q 7016)

  • New Zealand soldiers escort German prisoners into Achiet-le-Petit, Battle of Albert, 21 August 1918.
    New Zealand soldiers escort German prisoners into Achiet-le-Petit, Battle of Albert, 21 August 1918.Credits

    © Imperial War Museums (Q 11226)

  • Two New Zealand soldiers leaving a damaged German ammunition dug-out. Achiet-le-Petit, Battle of Albert, 21 August 1918.
    Two New Zealand soldiers leaving a damaged German ammunition dug-out. Achiet-le-Petit, Battle of Albert, 21 August 1918.Credits

    © Imperial War Museums (Q 11227)

  • A working party by a captured 4.2 inch gun after the New Zealand Division had taken Grévillers , 25 August 1918.
    A working party by a captured 4.2 inch gun after the New Zealand Division had taken Grévillers , 25 August 1918.Credits

    © Imperial War Museums (Q 11242)

  • A German shell bursts near Grévillers, on the New Zealand Division front.
    A German shell bursts near Grévillers, on the New Zealand Division front.Credits

    © Imperial War Museums (Q 11251)

Stories & Insights

Fighting their way around the town of Bapaume, Jervis and his men were under constant fire.

A crowd gathers around a mobile field kitchen (goulaschkanone) in Berlin.

Fast running out of food and materials to feed their people and supply their army, Germany was under intense pressure.

General Russell awards a soldier a medal  for gallantry - earned in the fighting at Meteren, France 1918.

Various medals and distinctions were awarded to soldiers during the war, with the Victoria Cross being the highest honour.

 

When the Germans attacked at the Somme, the New Zealand Division was rushed to the region.

German soldiers haul a granatenwerfer - a type of grenade or mortar thrower - forward in support of advancing stormtroops, 15 July 1918.

In March 1918, the Germans launched a huge offensive - with the aim of winning the war.

Using a false name, Coley lied about his age to join the army.

 

Useful resources for those looking for more information.

A selection of First World War vocabulary and common phrases.

Take the next trail

The next Ngā Tapuwae trail is Road to Le Quesnoy. Proceed to Havrincourt Bridge.
Link to the first stop

Decimal GPS:
57.828052
-70.114880
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Decimal GPS:
66.78265700440272
-100.33920450000005
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Decimal GPS:
74.26320590579186
-68.48160753125
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Decimal GPS:
74.69582567031232
-74.85099850000006
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Decimal GPS:
75.49514911130507
-64.33908012500001
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5

Stop Images

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Decimal GPS Real Location:
50.10177
2.619838
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Decimal GPS Real Location:
50.13221
2.668608
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Decimal GPS Real Location:
50.10823
2.819662
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Decimal GPS Real Location:
50.12177
2.844314
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Decimal GPS Real Location:
50.102178
2.897248