The French Army in the Battle of the Somme
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French frontFriseBelvedere

The French army on the Somme front

  • 22French war cemeteries
  • 8,566graves in Rancourt
  • 200thousand French losses in 1916

The Frise belvedere

War memoirs 

Cast a fresh look at the landscape and another at history at the Frise belvedere!

A unique, authentic site preserved by the Picardy conservatory for natural sites.

Overlooking the Somme Valley, it tells you plenty about the history of the Great War.

The trenches were amply described by Robert Graves in Good-bye to All That, and French author Blaise Cendrars, who was stationed here until February 1915. Quotes from his works have been added to the circuit. You can still see the trenches, now with sheep grazing on them. A stupendous panorama of the French front and more!

Rancourt cimetière©Somme Tourisme - Laurent Desbois/Lwood
Rancourt chapelle©Somme Tourisme - Laurent Desbois/Lwood
Rancourt cimetière©Somme Tourisme - Laurent Desbois/Lwood
Belvédères de Frise, Vallée de Somme© Conseil départemental de la Somme
Rancourt cimetière©Somme Tourisme - Laurent Desbois/Lwood

French remembrance


Rancourt has the sad privilege of housing three war cemeteries: one each for the British and Germans, and the largest French war cemetery in the Somme.

It is the sober neighbour to the Chapel of Remembrance, a must for those who wish to get a complete overview of the Somme front.  

It is a private initiative: the Bos family, originally hailing from this region, wanted to erect a monument to their son and his comrades-in-arms who fell in 1916.

The association Souvenir Français took over the running of the edifice in 1937. 

Tel.: +33 (0)3 22 85 04 47

The largest and most moving of the 14 German cemeteries is to be found along the French section of the Front, in Vermandovillers.

Can you find the exact point where the French and British armies join up in Maricourt ?
Rancourt, Somme©SommeTourisme
Rancourt, Somme©SommeTourisme
Rancourt cimetière français, Somme©Nicolas Bryant
Fay, Somme©SommeTourisme

Scarred villages 


September 1915: the immediate environs of the village of Fay bear traces of mine warfare. The village nestled in a dry valley before the war, then was rebuilt on the plateau. You can visit the vestiges, admission is free!

September 1916: after intense artillery preparation, Soyecourt was liberated. Visit Wallieux Wood, where Somme Council facilities shed light on the fighting which took place there!

September 1924: the Proyart War Memorial was inaugurated. You can but admire the amazing proportions and the bas-reliefs on this arc de triomphe beneath which stands the statue of a French private, holding a rifle to symbolise the bravery and determination of French soldiers.



Battlefields for Peace


For meaningful tourism

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Let's talk ToSylvestre BRESSON

Battlefields Guide, member of the Somme Battlefields’ Partner network

"This is no mere tour. Visiting these places is a highly emotional experience. The war cemeteries, memorials, trenches and vestiges of the Great War are the only witnesses left, paying silent tribute."

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