Thiepval ridge dominated much of the surrounding area and was generally considered to be the strongest German position in the sector.
Thiepval is situated approximately 7km north east of Albert on the D151
Schwaben Redoubt was situated approximately 0.5km north of Thiepval, immediately east of Mill Road Cemetery
Liepzig Redoubt was situated approximately 0.5km south of Thiepval, south of the Memorial to the Missing
Kitchener realised early on that the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was an obvious source of recruits for the New Army, but in view of the situation with the Irish at the time there were a number of political problems.
The original aim was to get the UVF men to enlist, not as units in their own right, but scattered throughout other units.
The Schwaben Redoubt at Thiepval was attacked on July 1 by the 36th (Ulster) Division under Major-General O.S.W. Nugent.
Initially they managed to advance, but as the day wore on they were beaten back, gradually losing the majority of the ground they had won. By nightfall they had lost over 9,000 men – of which over 5,500 had been killed.
The next major attack on the Schwaben Redoubt started on September 26.
This time the objective was to capture the western part of the ruins of the village, and then the Schwaben Redoubt itself which was about half a mile beyond the village. The attack was assisted by two of the early tanks.
Thiepval village was eventually captured on September 28, whilst the Schwaben Redoubt continued to be a powerful obstacle.
It remained so until its eventual capture on October 14. It had taken three and a half months of fighting and horrific loss of life to capture the fortress that had been Thiepval.
The massive Memorial to the Missing occupies a commanding position on the top of Thiepval Ridge. It can be seen from miles around.
Thiepval on the right of the picture, the Memorial to the Missing right of centre and the area of the Liepzig Redoubt in the upper centre.
Thiepval Wood (known today as Bois d’Authuille) on the upper left and the 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial to its right in a wooded area.
A disused quarry surrounded by a row of poplars (upper centre) marks the extremity of what was the Liepzig Redoubt.
The 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial is set in a small park on a site where the Division won glory in their gallant attempt to capture the Schwaben Redoubt and take Thiepval.
The completed Ulster Memorial Tower was unveiled by Field-Marshall Sir Henry Wilson on Saturday November 19, 1921.
Connaught Cemetery near Thiepval was begun during the early autumn of 1916 and at the Armistice it contained 228 burials.
Connaught Cemetery was then very greatly increased when graves were brought in from battlefields in the immediate area and the following small cemeteries:
Mill Road Cemetery is located in fields near the 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial.
Mill Road Cemetery was started in 1917 when the area was cleared after the fighting during the summer and autumn of 1916. The cemetery was expanded after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from other cemeteries in the area.
Hamel Military Cemetery was begun by fighting units and Field Ambulances in August 1915, and carried on until June 1917. A few further burials were made in Plot II, Row F after the capture of the village in 1918.
Hamel Military Cemetery was known at times by the names of ‘Brook Street Trench’ and ‘White City’.
Hamel Military Cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of 48 graves from the immediate neighbourhood.
‘Blighty Valley’ was the name given by the Army to the lower part of the deep valley running south westwards through Authuille Wood to join the river between Authuille and Aveluy. For some time it was an important (though inevitably a dangerous) route. The upper part of the valley was called ‘Nab Valley’. Blighty Valley Cemetery is almost at the mouth of the valley, a little way up its northern bank.
Authuille is 5km north of Albert. Authuille Military Cemetery is on the south side of the village, between the road to Albert and the River Ancre
Authuille was held by British troops from the summer of 1915 to March 1918, when it was captured in the German Offensive on the Somme. As a village, it was ruined by shellfire even before that date.