The Battle of the Somme

Discussion in 'WWI (1914 - 1918)' started by MollyMay, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    With the 100th anniversary of the start of this battle happening tomorrow, I have heard that every family in Britain will have a relative who was killed there. I am not sure if it is strictly true but a sobering thought. I knew my dad had a cousin who perished there on 16th September (presumed) aged just 23. His second son was born in August 1916 and I do not think he ever saw the child.
    I have found his military record and in it was the following snippet, from a letter his wife wrote asking for his war medals (which she did get in 1921), and I found it so very sad. upload_2016-6-30_18-13-41.png
     
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  2. Old Stoneface

    Old Stoneface Well-Known Member

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    They were so young, too.

    A couple of days ago, i saw a report about the centenary coming up, and they very cleverly mentioned a few soldiers who had been killed there, then one in particular who was a footballer before he went off to fight. They had his photo and were in his club's stadium. Then the presenter said that the stadium held 20,000 people, and the camera drew away so that you could see all the seats. To me, twenty thousand is just a number, but to see all the seats and to think of all the people they represented really brought it home to me just how many died on that first day. And five times that stadium over the whole offensive.

    I think every family in Britain having a relative who was killed on the Somme is possibly exaggerated, as I, for one, didn't. On the other hand, some families may well have more than one relative who died there, which cancels me out.

    The important thing is never to let it happen again.
     
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  3. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    My paternal great uncle, 19 year old James Henry Searles was killed at the Somme.

    That letter certainly tugs at the heart strings MollyMay, I wouldn't want to be the person on the receiving end of letters such as that, heartbreaking.
     
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  4. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    So very sad MollyMay:(
     
  5. Steve Bumstead

    Steve Bumstead Well-Known Member

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    My wife's grandfather died 100 years ago today, on the first day of the Somme. We are lucky that his letters home to his fiancee survive, together with others from his family. So terribly moving, especially his last one, which concludes "farewell, time is short..."

    Steve
     
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  6. Lone Pine

    Lone Pine Her Grandad would be so proud of her

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    My Hubby's Great Uncle and Great Great Uncle were both killed at the Somme, his Great Uncle John Haddon Attenborough (The Norfolks, part of Kitchener's Army) was killed at 3 pm on st July 1916 and is remembered at Theipval
    To quote from the official War Diary "3pm D Company had now taken the LOOP and both assaulting companies now advanced to take the Montauban Alley Line - the final objective of the battalion. Owing to machine gun firing from this line and from NW of Montauban D Company on the left suffered heavy casualties and C Company led by 2nd Lt J.H.Attenborough made repeated attempts to get into Montauban Alley but did not succeed until a bombing party under 2nd Lt L.A. Gundry-White gained an entrance by way of LOOP Trench on the left. Unfortunately just before this had been affected 2nd Lt J.H Attenborough together with C.S.M. J Coe had both been killed in the attempt to get into the trench"

    His Great Great Uncle Albert E Hunwick was killed on 3rd July 1916. He has a grave at Aveluy Communal Cemetery Extension and died of wounds received on the 3rd July.

    One from his Mum's side (Atthenborough) and one from his Father's side (Hunwick) those two men that died within days of each other as strangers, 30 years later became family when his Mum and Dad married.
     
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  7. HildaW

    HildaW Well-Known Member

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    My daughter lives in London and she told me she passed thru a group of the young men at Waterloo station dressed in WW1 uniforms - she said it was an eerie and sad/disturbing feeling.
     
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  8. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    yes they were at lots of stations around the country yesterday. We saw some at Liverpool Street Station on the way in to work - good to think somebody had the idea to do it
     
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  9. Hugh Mccoy

    Hugh Mccoy Active Member

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    Just wondering,did the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles take part in the Somme.
     
  10. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Have a read of this - it covers their actions in the Great War.

    Code:
    https://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=6351
     
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  11. Hugh Mccoy

    Hugh Mccoy Active Member

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  12. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    I have a great uncle who died 2nd July 1916. He was 19. So sad, so many people died. The futility of war!:(:eek::)
     
  13. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Three of my great Uncles died in France in WW1, the one in my last post, his brother and their cousin.
     
  14. Hugh Mccoy

    Hugh Mccoy Active Member

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    So very true.My great uncle actually survived the war.He died of throat cancer in 1952. Years ago my father asked him what was it like fighting in the war. One word answer, Terrible. My father said that he never wanted to talk about and would always change the subject when it was brought up.
     
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