The memorial is located on the north side of the D929 Albert-Bapaume road
just to the north of the village of Pozières.
From 27th September 1914 the German Army arrived in Bapaume and fought the
French Army down the main road towards Albert during the next few days.
Blocking the way to Albert, the French managed to hold off the advance of
the 26th and 28th Reserve Divisions in this area. The German Army stopped
its further advance a few kilometres south of Pozières on the main road at
the village of La Boisselle. With the high ground at Pozières securely
behind its forward line the German Army here had magnificent views of the
countryside for 360 degrees.
During 1915 and into early 1916 the German divisions in this sector of the
Somme battlefield constructed a fortified Front Line between the villages
of Gommecourt, Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, and
Mametz to Curlu on the Somme river. An Intermediate Position consisting of
barbed wire defences and strongpoints was constructed behind the Front
Line, and behind that a Second Position was built up. This Second Position
comprised a series of strongpoints and observation points on good sites of
The windmill on this high ground was used from September 1914 as a German
field artillery observation post and command post. The views were
magnificent to the front and rear of this position. The site was built up
as a strongpoint just to the north of the fortified village of Pozières.
Battle of Pozières Ridge (23rd July - 7th August 1916).
On 1st July 1916 the British offensive had failed in it's attempt to cover
and capture the ground between the German Front Line and the Second German
Line on the Pozières ridge. Attacks in early July by the British Fourth
Army on the German positions at Pozières had been unsuccessful. The 1st
ANZAC Corps, arriving on the Somme battlefront from 14th - 18th July, took
part in an attack on Pozières village on 23rd July 1916. The Australian
1st Division captured Pozières village by the end of that day. Capturing
the site of the windmill to the north of the village was an objective in
the attack, to secure observation from this point for the British over the
German rear areas of Grandcourt in the River Ancre valley and Courcelette
on the road to Bapaume. These two villages were situated on either side
and to the rear of the German sector at Thiepval, which was still holding
out in the original German positions attacked on 1st July. The capture of
the ground at Pozières as far as a German forward command post at Mouquet
Farm, between Pozières and Thiepval, and the ground at Grandcourt was
considered essential to assist with the proposed envelopment and capture
After almost two weeks of bitter fighting the site of the windmill was
secured by Australian Forces of 1st ANZAC Corps by the end of 5th August.
High Point on the 1916 Somme Battlefield One of the magnificent views from
the Pozières Windmill Memorial, looking to the north.
Courcelette British Cemetery can be seen
in the middle distance. The forces holding this particular piece of ground
on the Pozières ridge would have the advantage of being able to see for
many kilometres in all directions. The movement of men, transport and guns
would be visible to the enemy from here.
For the German Army in July 1916, it was crucial to hold onto this
location at all costs because it protected the views over their rear in
the Thiepval sector north of the Albert- Bapaume road and the rear of
their Contalmaison-Longueval sector south of that main road. Also, if
captured, the Allies would gain a significant advantage by being able to
see over the German Army's rear support and supply lines for this whole
sector of the German
The windmill was gradually smashed up by French and then British artillery
fire. It was eventually reduced to a pile of rubble. Remains of the
windmill and the German blockhouse have been left and grassed over,
leaving the undulating ground as a preserved battlefield site at this
Dr Bastiaan Memorial Plaque
One of the bronze memorial plaques by Dr Ross Bastiaan is located at the
Pozières windmill memorial. Over 140 bronze memorial plaques have been
placed around the world at sites of action by Australian Forces. The
plaque includes a relief map of the Somme battlefields, casualty figures
and an overview in English and French of the part played by the Australian
Forces in the Battle of Pozières Ridge.