The village of Pozieres marks the first major commitment of Australian troops (Memorial to the first and second Australian Divisions). Vestiges of the « Gibraltar » blockhouse are still visible. Also in Pozieres, you may visit a memorial to the tanks, which shows four reduced tank models.

The village was the lock which needed to be destroyed to take the Mouquet Farm, then Thiepval hill. This objective was majorly given to the Australian troops where most of them had already fought in Gallipoli.

The village was situated on a ridge crossed by a double network of trenches forming the second German line and flanked by two bunker-observatories with outlooks over the battlefield (Albert side, “Gibraltar” – Bapaume side, the “Windmill”). The Australians arrived on the 23rd of July 1916, taking over Pozieres. After 2 weeks of nonstop artillery counter attacks, they were finally relieved by Canadians on the 5 of September at the Mouquet Farm.

Three Australian Divisions fought in the Pozieres sector. The cost had been enormous, and in the words of Australian official historian Charles Bean, the Pozieres ridge “is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.”Pozieres had become so well-known and taken such a place in Remembrance that a small town in Queensland was given its name after the war.

On the 15th of September, tanks were used for the first time on the battlefields. 32 British Mark I tanks were deployed on the Courcelette-Longueval line, only nine reached their objectives. Nonetheless, that date truly marked the beginning of progression in terms of military technology.

The Gibraltar Blockhouse

The road that leads to the monument corresponds to the first German trench which was highly defended by the Gibraltar blockhouse. Its foundations are still visible.  It was built in an old cellar which was fortified and the entrance reinforced with concrete.