Somme: La Boisselle to Contalmaison

We begin Season 4 of the podcast with a walk between the Somme villages of La Boisselle and Contalmaison, the scene of heavy fighting in July 1916. We see memorials, battlefield cemeteries and discover the stories of those who walked here more than a century ago.


IGN Aerial Photo from 1950:

IGN Image from 1950 (See IGN Website)

Order of Battle 19th (Western) Division: Long, Long Trail website.

Order of Battle 34th Division: Long, Long Trail website.


Podcast Extras:

27 Comments on “Somme: La Boisselle to Contalmaison

  1. Macrae’s Battalion Memorial, Contalmaison. Never got a mention, you spoke of English football and nothing about the Scottish football connection. How come ?


    • Because the walk didn’t go into that part of the village and that’s a story for another day! I can’t get every story into every episode! This one was already over an hour long.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad to have you back Paul! Best wishes for a full recovery from 🇨🇦! The Somme is still one of my favourite places.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Paul. Thanks for another. Get well soon! I struggle often lining up your map and your words to locations. Question. You keep saying the place Picady. I do not see that term on map. You also say La Boiselle. But map says Ovilliers La Boisselle. Is what you say a slightly different location from map? Also, is there a way you can indicate on all maps the start and the finish point of the walk? I dont begin listening until I have my bearings on the maps. But today its a bit more challenging. I have to get into your talk a fair bit before I know where you are, which way you are heading next, and by trying to do that, I miss key parts of your story while i’m surveying the map to find where you are and where you are going.

    I still want to Buy You a Coffee but as I mentioned before, the website just wants me to set up an account to receive funds from others. Its not clear how I can just Buy You A Coffee with my Canadian Credit Card. I want to be able to participate in your Extras but Ive missed several now because i cannot figure how to Buy You A Coffee.

    Im praying we get this figured out.


    • Hi Steve – when I visit there is an orange button. You press this and it asks for your email and credit card details. And it’s as simple as that.

      Regarding maps, I can only overlay a route, I can’t edit the route or the place names. This is the simplest and easiest solution using Google Maps. To start putting on extra details would take time I don’t have.

      Regarding La Boisselle, the walk starts there outside the church on the left of the map. The neighbouring village is Ovillers, now called Ovillers-la-Boiselle as both villages are in the same commune today.

      Hope that helps?


  4. I’m not long after getting Covid (after dodging it for two years too). You have my total sympathy (and empathy!!). Cracking podcast as always. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Superb as always Paul. Introduced the podcast to my replacement at work today so hopefully another listener.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Paul, Covid seems rampant at the moment most people I know including myself have had it recently. We are staying at a gite in la boiselle (before moving onto Ypres) again in June so I will do this walk soon. Is it mostly on tarmac or is there tracks to walk on?
    I have visited Bell’s redoubt and his grave on a previous visit and as my work takes me often to Harrogate I often visit his new memorial stone in the centre of the town, after a coffee in Betty’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Paul

    Just wanted to say I love your podcast which I only recently discovered and I am already half way through. I just wanted to say that my brother in law family business J & H M Dickson Ltd of Glasgow now known as Sackmaker was established by his grandfather in 1915 to make sandbags for the army as trench warfare developed. He supplied all the thousands upon thousands sandbags that were used in your favourite film 1917 and all were made exactly as they were in 1915 and that is why it looks so authentic. Keep up the great work and I will soon be catching up with you. I am also writing a book on the Battle of Loos as this had a huge impact on SCotland as you know so well on what was “most unfavourable ground” The gas cylinders being used were known as “oofts” as that was the sound the carrying parties made when they first picked them up to transport through the communication trenches.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi mate
    Great as ever.
    Just last week I stood at the ‘tree’ on the British front line, after walking from Becourt. I stayed a few minutes, truly an atmospheric spot looking back to the wood, through the support lines. Following the comms trench leading to the front, imagining the thought processes as the lads came forward. I’ll never forget it….and will revisit as often as possible.
    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Paul,

    Sorry to read that you have had Covid and I hope that you are on the mend.

    Thanks for another interesting and informative podcast. When I am next in Bury I will check out the LF church memorial. Regarding the missing cross, have you tried the archives section of the Fusilier Museum in the town? They have an excellent section on WW1.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Paul

    Just listened to this again. Where can I find out more about the discrediting of Liddel-Hart’s views on the conduct of WW1? His Wikepedia entry, under “controversies” was more concerned about his alleged influence over the likes of Guderian and the development of the Blitzkrieg and the post war “myth of the clean Wehrmacht”. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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