Somme Remembrance sites included on the World Heritage list
- 1World War
- 139Listed sites and memorials
- 11in the Somme
An exceptional universal treasure
Memorial sites on the Somme
The Battle of the Somme (1st July – 18th November 1916) was one of the deadliest battles of the First World War, causing over one million losses (dead, injured and missing) in the space of 5 months. It was also a worldwide battle, as over 20 different nationalities were involved. After the war, many memorials and cemeteries sprang up in the Somme: each one is different, depending on the nationalities of those remembered there, but all represent the desire to commemorate soldiers who died or were lost in the battle.
Since 20th September 2023, 139 funerary and memorial sites along the First World War’s Western Front have been listed by World Heritage, meaning that they are of exceptional interest for our shared human heritage.
Amongst the 139 listed sites, 11 are in the Somme.
Sites on the World Heritage List
- Newfoundland Memorial, Beaumont-Hamel: Newfoundland park and the memorials within it are representative of Newfoundland national Remembrance of the war. The preserved no-man’s land and front lines make this an original and unique site.
- Mill Road Cemetery (Thiepval/Authuille): through the sacrifice of the soldiers of the British 36th Division, this cemetery is a physical reminder of the mass killing and violence of the war. An unusual architectural feature of the site is that the headstones are laid on the ground, due to the instability of the terrain.
- Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme and the Franco-British Cemetery: This memorial is emblematic of the Battle of the Somme, and the largest British military cemetery in the world. With 72 244 names are engraved on its walls, the ‘missing’ are placed at the very heart of the memorial.
- Pozières British Cemetery and the Pozières Memorial (Ovillers-La Boisselle): With 14 000 names engraved on the memorial, this site is representative of mass killing. Its architecture is unlike that of other CWGC sites, as the memorial surrounds the cemetery and doesn’t correspond to a ‘cemetery garden’.
- South African Memorial and Commonwealth Cemetery (Longueval): Emblematic South African sites, both the memorial and cemetery are physical reminders of the mass killing and violence which took place during the battle of the Somme. This is the only African national memorial on the Western Front.
- Necropolis and Souvenir Français Chapel (Rancourt/Bouchavesnes-Bergen): These sites are symbolic of the French participation in the Battle of the Somme and combine national homage and private remembrance of the soldiers who died for France.
- The Australian National Memorial and Commonwealth Cemetery (Villers-Bretonneux/Fouilloy): Inaugurated in 1983, this was the last First World War memorial to be built. Together with the adjoining cemetery, the memorial is a sign of the strong implication of Australian troops in the Somme, and represents Australian Remembrance on the Western Front.
- Military Cemetery and Chinese Memorial (Noyelles-sur-Mer): A unique ensemble on the Western Front, the site is dedicated to the memory of the Chinese labourers who died during the First World War, and whose story is largely untold. This the largest Chinese cemetery in Europe.
- Louvencourt Military Cemetery (Louvencourt): Built very soon after the war, this is one of the Imperial War Graves Commission’s (now CWGC) prototype cemeteries. It is an exceptional site, with its French gravestones, different to the ones typically found in French cemeteries, as well as unique architectural elements.
Map of the 11 listed memorial sites
in the Somme
Take time to visit these places of Remembrance. Many of them are on the Remembrance Trail.
Examples of distances:
Amiens > Noyelles-sur-Mer : 65km
Amiens > Albert : 30km
Amiens > Villers-Bretonneux : 23km
Villers-Bretonneux > Albert : 23km
Albert > Rancourt : 21km
Rancourt > Péronne : 9km