As many of you will know the Butte de Warlencourt was purchased by the WFA some 23 years ago (see The Butte de Warlencourt - do you know?).
This ancient historic site was the scene of furious fighting in the October/November 1916 stages of the Battle of the Somme when it was held by the Germans. It was eventually in British hands the following February, with several battlefield memorials being erected shortly thereafter by the Durham Light Infantry and others.
Situated just off the D929 near to Warlencourt-Eaucourt, the Butte has an important history to tell. In an exciting new initiative, the WFA is determined that the Butte will fully tell its history to an increasing number of new and returning visitors to the location.
Under the guidance of WFA European Officer, Bob Paterson, a restoration project will start shortly with the ultimate aim that the Butte will become a 'must visit' location for all visitors to the area. It is planned that the project will see new pathways and handrails being put in place, trees and bushes being cut back over the entire site, the panorama view over the battlefields being restored and the erection of new information boards and signage telling the Butte story. The aim is to put the site well and truly back on the map. It is planned that a re-dedication service will be held next year (2014) at some point, in readiness for the Centenary.
The project will be carried out in stages, so it is also anticipated that, at some point, that there will be a 'call to arms' for working party volunteers especially with regards to tidying the site. Although a budget has been set, this exciting news will bring opportunities for sponsorships, donations and related parties. Two companies have already helped here: donations have been received from UTi Limited Freight forwarders in Glasgow and Intona Timber specialists in Dundee. The WFA is certain that everybody will join us in thanking them for their support. At its simplest, the more additional funding that can be raised, the more we can do to promote and market the site, which covers from the bottom car parking area to the mound at the top. Ideally a new memorial overlooking the battlefields, which can be fully seen from the road could be achieved, thus highlighting the site in the surrounding countryside.
Progress of this project will be fully covered in future editions of the WFA Bulletin and here on the WFA website. For further information, details or sponsorship opportunities please contact European Officer Bob Paterson.
You can view a slideshow of some recent images of the condition of the Butte, below. Set the show running, and press the "expand" icon to view full screen. Press "Esc" on your keyboard to close and return to the website.