The Red Wine of War – Pozières

The Windmill site at Pozières.

Today the village of Pozieres is a thriving community of 250 people located 150 km North West of Paris, and standing here in the rolling green countryside, it is hard to believe that you are at the centre of the Somme Battlefield, the heart of Australian battles in France.

Australia’s official war historian, Charles Bean, wrote ….
‘The Windmill site … marks a ridge more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth’.
The Soldiers that fought and died at Pozieres were for the most part survivors of the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign. Thrown into Battle at Pozieres, the men of the 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions suffered what is said to have been the most concentrated artillery barrage of all time.
Over seven weeks in 1916, at the Battle of the Somme, the Australian Imperial Force suffered 23,000 casualties, more than 6700 of whom died, in the countryside around the Windmill.
On 11 November 1993 soil from the Windmill site was cast over the coffin of Australia’s Unknown Soldier during his funeral at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

This is our Earth baptized
With the red wine of War.
Horror and courage hand in hand
Shall brood upon the stricken land
In silence evermore.

Lt. Ewart Alan Mackintosh MC.


Lest We Forget

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