Pozieres ReservePrint Page
|Address:||McCallum & Beveridge Streets, Swan Hill, 3585|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -35.338883|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||04-August-1914|
|Actual Event End Date:||28-June-1919|
Commemoration of Australian soldiers
The Australian 1st Division AIF attacked the French village of Pozieres in the early hours of 23 July 1916 and captured the town after ferocious fighting. The Germans launched several counter attacks in a desperate effort to regain control from the Australians, but all were repulsed.
The Germans switched tactics - if they couldn't force the Australians out of Pozieres they would destroy them. They launched one of the heaviest artillery barrages of the war and pounded the Australians incessantly - at the height of the bombardment the shells rained down at a rate of twenty a minute. After three days the 1st Division had lost 5,285 men and the rest were exhausted.
The Division was withdrawn and replaced by the 2nd Division. German pressure remained relentless and after 10 days the 2nd Division had lost 6,848 men, it too was withdrawn and replaced by the 4th Division. This cycle continued until 3 September - each Division fought until exhausted and was replaced. When the replacement Division was itself exhausted, the original Division was rotated back into the line.
The 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions were used as a battering ram against the German strong points at Pozieres until they were almost destroyed. More than 50% of the Australians who fought at Pozieres were killed, wounded or captured. Many of these men were from Swan Hill and district. Five Victoria Crosses were won by Australians during the relentless fighting, which took place during the Battle of the Somme.
Lest We Forget