Help raise £5,500 to fund the restoration of a First World War private memorial to Captain Houston Stewart Hamilton Wallace in Bazentin, Somme, France. Donations would be most welcome > Project Houston 

Two of these memorials are located in the village of Bazentin-le-Petit situated between Pozières and Longueval on the Somme battlefield. The Nine Brave Man memorial and crucifix commemorating Captain Houston Steward Hamilton Wallace are a few hundred metres from each other. 

The Nine Brave Man memorial (from an old photograph)

The Nine Brave Man memorial is made of stone and located on the crossroads in the village. 

Nine Brave Men (Google capture August 2017) (c) Google Street View 2024

It is dedicated to nine men of the 3rd Section of the 82nd Field Company Royal Engineers, killed in action in July 1916. You can find it on Google Street view where it looks in a somewhat sadder state.

The Wallace memorial

The Wallace memorial is a wooden cross on a stone cairn and lies half hidden in the woods on  the farm road leading towards High Wood.

HSW Wallace, from a team photo of the Merton College (Oxford) 1914 hockey XI; © The Warden and Fellows of Merton College (source: )

Captain Wallace, of the 10th Worcester Regiment, was killed on 22nd July 1916 when advancing towards High Wood - his body was never found and he is officially commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. 

As all of these memorials are inspected regularly by our European Field Officer Michèl Admiraal, on his last trip to Bazentin in June 2023, he found their condition deteriorating, especially the Wallace monument, as is shown in the photographs. He subsequently made contact with the mayor of Bazentin, Jean- Luc Fourdinier which led to a first round of cleaning, but more work needs to be done to get them back to their former glory. 

By chance we were contacted recently by Stephen Benson of the Cheshire Roll of Honour who was already working on a crowdfunding plan to restore the Wallace moment as part of his ‘Project Houston’. Stephen and Michèl are now in touch and this led to a small adaptation of the plan. The Nine Brave Men Memorial is also included in Project Houston which is being fully supported by the Mayor of Bazentin.

Stephen started his fundraising in October 2023 and contributions can be made at > Project Houston

In the Spring 2024, a final survey will be done and local materials will be sourced so that by early in the summer, the restoration work can start with an aim to hold a rededication ceremony on 22 July 2024 (the anniversary of Captain Wallace’s death).

More information about the project can be found on the Facebook page of the Cheshire Roll of Honour

Although the upkeep of the private memorials on Barrie Thorpe’s list is not the responsibility of The WFA, Michèl hopes that this project will become a model for collaborating efforts with the custodians of other memorials that may need restoration work in the future.

Private Memorial (recently moved and restored) to Captain Herbert Percy Meakin

Last year, The WFA also provided funding to help Brian Smith complete his excellent work on the renovation of the memorial to Captain Herbert Percy Meakin on the road between Ginchy and Lesboeufs.