‘Tin Hats’ to host battle centenary
CAPETONIANS will mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of Delville Wood tomorrow at a ceremony at the Delville Wood Memorial in the Company’s Garden.
The ferocious battle took place between July 15 and 20, 1916, in a wood in northern France outside the village of Longueval.
It formed part of the huge Somme Offensive launched by the British on July 1. British forces suffered 60 000 casualties on that day.
The all-volunteer 1st South African Brigade fought a sixday battle against German forces, suffering horrendous casualties. Of the 3 153 South African soldiers who were ordered to take and hold the wood at all costs, only about 750 made it out alive. Of these, fewer than 150 were uninjured.
Tomorrow’s Memorial Parade and Service, which begins at 11am, is hosted by the Cape Western Provincial Dugout of the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH).
Tomorrow the MOTH will be supported at the ceremony by the Department of Military Veterans and the Cape Town Rifles Regiment, known as the Dukes, who fought in the battle 100 years ago.
Tomorrow’s service in Cape Town follows Tuesday’s memorial service in France, which took place at the South African National Memorial Delville Wood.
The memorial stands on the site of the battle.