Instructed to hold the wood \'at all costs\', when their ammunition was expended they resorted to hand-to-hand combat and the wood became littered with the bodies of dead and dying soldiers. After six days and five nights of some of the most savage combat on the Western Front, the battered remnants of the SAI Brigade were relieved. A mere 142 soldiers emerged from what had become collectively known as \'Devil\'s Wood\'. Eventually 780 men of the brigade assembled, 1,709 had been wounded and 664 killed. Nothing remained of the wood - it was a shattered and broken landscape. Today, the contrast couldn\'t be more extreme. The wood has been fully replanted, and it is a sight of haunting beauty. Remarkably visitors can freely walk throughout the wood following the former trench systems. This is one of the few places you can easily do this on the Somme and with the major trench and communication lines marked by stone plinths it is possible the trace the changing positions of the troops and the ebb and flow of the battle. If any of you are lucky enough to plan a visit to the Western Front battlefields then I would wholeheartedly recommend that you make a stop at Delville Wood, it is an unforgettable and truly thought-provoking experience.
The major connection lines between the trenches had been named by the Highlanders who had previously held the wood. Today the stone plinths in the wood mark Princes Street, Rotten Row and the other key points in the Allied defences. The only tree in the wood to survive the battle still stands and you can easily see the shrapnel holes in the bark of this hornbeam. A view of the memorial and commemorative museum seen through the trees. A view of the wood as it looked at the end of the battle.
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