Achiet-le-Grand during WW1



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Betty Webber & I at logeast wood

I am married to a British woman and I have lived in the village of Achiet-le-grand since 1988.
My wife "Dawn" worked four years for Avril Williams at Ocean's villers Tea Room and works now at the Thiepval visitor centre.
During this time, I listened to Avril, her guests, learned about WW1.
After visiting, Achiet-le-grand Communal Cemetery Extension with my friends Teddy and Phoebe Colligan, the guardians of the Ulster tower from 2001 until 2011, they encouraged me to explore further the history of the village during WW1 as we noticed lots of different badges on the gravestones.
It isn't easy to find information about a less well known WW1 area. I hope that people may have information, photos, personal diaries, soldiers details ect...related to the history of Achiet-le-Grand.

Chairman of the Somme Remembrance Association

Philippe DROUIN


The train station in Achiet-le-Grand was important to the Germans for evacuating the wounded, getting fresh supplies and armament. It became a strategic point to get for the British.
In 1916 when the battle of the Somme started, the population of the village was evacuated because of bombardments from aeroplanes and artillery.  Later, it was entirely destroyed and it took two years before the people started to come back to live in temporary homes.

The village was awarded the Croix de Guerre because it had been totaly destroyed during the war.