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Wilfred Owen's Places: La Signy Farm

La Signy Farm

This photograph was taken from the British Front Line of January 1917 with No Man’s Land behind the camera position and looking towards La Signy Farm and indeed, towards the British Front Line of 1st July 1916 of which the farm was then a part.

(The ill-fated attack on Serre on the 1st July 1916 by the "Accrington Pals" took place just off to the top right of the picture)

In 1916 the cellars beneath the farmhouse had been extended and suitably equipped to be utilised as a Company Headquarters. Dug-outs were also constructed in which troops held in reserve could be accommodated. It was here in January 1917 that Wilfred Owen began the final stage of his move to the front line, his platoons making their way slowly from the farm, along a communication trench known as Sackville Street, thence into the front line trench system and finally, in the case of Owen and 25 of his men, to the ill-fated German emplacement in No Man’s Land. Later he wrote to his mother about this tour of duty. "Those fifty hours were the agony of my happy life…"

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