Sheffield Memorial ParkSheffield Memorial Park
©Sheffield Memorial Park
Sheffield Memorial Park

Sheffield Memorial Park, Hebuterne

The 5 km road that leads from Serre-les-Puisieux in the Pas-de-Calais to Mailly-Maillet in the Somme runs alongside no less than twelve military cemeteries, including a French necropolis. On the heights, this landscape allows us to discover the battlefield where the French fought in May 1915, then the British Imperial Army in July 1917 during the battle of the Somme. Stop for a few moments for a moment of recollection in the Sheffield Memorial Park …

You are in a wooded place, voluntarily preserved. The Sheffield pals monument is located in a copse in which the British front line stood on July 1, 1916. Near the monument, the ground was purposely kept intact, marked by shell holes and trenches, in honor of all the Sheffield men who died there.

The Battle of the Somme

Started on July 1, 1916 the Battle of the Somme is the largest offensive conducted by the British Army on the Western Front.

The attack must occur on a front of more than 20 km, between Serre (Pas-de-Calais) and Maricourt (Somme), on the right bank of the Somme River. Launched in conjunction with a French attack south of the Somme, the offensive is intended to first establish a new position on German-held heights and then, later, achieve a major breakthrough.

The Sheffield Memorial Park at Hebuterne honors the men of the 31st Division of the British Army who served with the Pals Battalion and fell in the fighting in this sector.

The Pals Battalions, were formed during the fall of 1914 as a result of recruitment drives launched by the War Office. Thousands of volunteers, brothers, cousins, neighbors, friends or co-workers enlisted at the local recruiting offices at the same time. The regiments were thus composed of soldiers who knew each other very well and thus formed battalions of buddies, the Pals Battalions.

During the fighting in the early days of the Battle of the Somme, these Sheffield Pals Battalions fought in the Hebuterne sector. Their objective was to advance east through the German lines and retake the fortified village of Serre.