Chorley trench ‘found’ on the Somme battlefield

Chorley Street Trench

A First World War trench with a local connection has been found on the Somme battlefield in northern France.

Named “Chorley Street”, it is close to the village of Ovillers – La Boiselle and not far from where the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme stands today.

It was found almost by accident by Word War One enthusiast and member of the Chorley in The Great War group Graham Hough.

WW1 trench map from 1916

WW1 trench map from 1916

He was walking the Somme trench line from Fricourt to Thiepval in June aided by a WW1 digital mapping software app, when a range of trenches with local names appeared on his Smartphone.

Chorley Street trench [pictured above in June 2014] was part of the British front line called “The Nab” and was probably named by local men who served there in late 1915, as there are other trenches called Bamber Bridge Street and Horwich Street nearby.

Commenting on the find, Chorley in The Great War Chairman and Chorley Remembers Project Manager Steve Williams said: “It is quiet significant and shows the local link to the Somme well before the Chorley Pals arrived there in the Spring of 1916.

“Our research indicates that the trenches were originally dug by the French but when the British took them over they renamed them.”

Graham Hough thinks that they were named by members of the Chorley Terriers whose Battalion War Diary records the unit being there in December 1915.

He would also like to find out if “The Nab” was named by them after Healey Nab which overlooks Chorley.