The Western Front Association unveiled a memorial in 1993 on the anniversary of the capture of the Riqueval Bridge over the Canal de Saint Quentin, 29 September 1918. The 46th (North Midland) Division captured this bridge on that day, the only bridge remaining intact over the canal. This greatly assisted the British Army in crossing the canal, which had formed part of the strong German defensive position here. The Allies then began the move eastwards, starting the next phase of the Allied offensive in the autumn of 1918.
The British, having been led to believe there would be little enemy opposition, were pushed back by the German machine guns or simply mown down as they crossed no man’s land, leading to the infamous statistics relating to the highest number of deaths ever on a single day of battle. Despite the losses, the British and French continued the attack. German troops were reinforced from Verdun and despite occasional Allied victories (Pozieres was captured by the Australians in July) most advances were rarely followed up and were quickly lost again.