The World War I struggle for the strategic ground of Delville Wood lying at the heart of the Somme battlefields took place between Commonwealth and German soldiers during July and September 1916. During this time a number of fierce battles were fought and even though the Commonwealth troops ultimately won through, there was huge loss of life on both sides. Delville Wood Cemetery at Longueval commemorates the heroism of 5,523 Commonwealth dead, lying at peace in a memorial designed by British architect Sir Herbert Baker just post-war, with an entrance arch topped by a bronze equestrian sculpture by Alfred Turner. A huge percentage of the graves at Delville Wood are unmarked as many of the fallen were reburied there after the Armistice in 1918.
Right across the road is the South Africa (Delville Wood) National Memorial, also built by Sir Herbert Baker and honoring the South African military personnel who were killed in World War I. With around 229,000 soldiers fighting on the Western Front, the SA dead at Delville Wood numbered around 10,000 and their names are inscribed in a memorial book in the hexagonal-shaped Delville Wood Museum, built to salute all South African troops who have died in combat across the world.
Both cemeteries are found in Longueval, 40 km (25 miles) south of Arras in the Pas-de-Calais. The Delville Wood Museum is open early Feb–early Apr, mid-Oct–late Nov Tue–Sun 10am–4pm; early Apr–mid-Oct Tue–Sun 10am–5.30pm.