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1st day of the Somme, casualty on the other side of the wire...
The RIR99 was at Thiepval, the 3rd company just to the south west in the Granatloch. The Highland light infantry broke into their lines and wiped out most of the company in hand to hand fighting.

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Thanks for sharing Chris, most people don't realise that it wasn't just the British and French which took horrendous casualties during the Somme.

Paul

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Here's another one from just to the south of Thiepval and north of Ovilliers.

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Quite a while back I picked up a handwritten diary, the owner of the diary was killed on 1/7/16 during the diversionary attack at Gommecourt.
Pte. S. Dore was part of the 1/7 Sherwood Foresters, better known as the Robin Hoods. On the morning of 1st July they attacked the German stronghold known as Little Z.
The unit holding Little Z was the 55 RIR, based in Detmold, Hoexter and Bielefeld. It’s known that some men of the 7th reached the German lines and I believe Pte. Dore was one of them; his diary contains German writing and it was discovered very close to Bielefeld with only 5 days seperating the house clearance where it was found and me seeing it on a dealer’s market stall.
There are more details here http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/1340-a-1st-july-somme-casualty/ without the help of Andrew Hesketh I would never have found so much information. Also http://www.therobinhoods.org.uk/gommecourt.shtml
In the section were:
L. Cpl. Spencer – survived the war
Pte. Kent – died 11/8/16
Pte. Wilkeson – survived the war
Pte. Canadine – DOW 28/6/16 aged 18
Pte. Davy (Signaller) – survived the war
Pte. Danby – survived the war
Pte. Woodford (Bomber) – KIA 1/7/16
Pte. Holland – KIA 1/7/16 aged 21
Pte. Stringer (Bomber) – survived the war
Pte. Keetley (Bomber) – 2 possible men, T Keetley KIA 1/7/16 and GW Keetley KIA 16/10/17
Pte. Imerson (Bomber) – I can’t find any record for this soldier
Pte. Dore – KIA 1/7/16 aged 19

Edited by Tony

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Going back to Chris' post I thought I'd add a couple photos of the Granatloch taken a couple of days ago, as well as the defenders eye view towards Authuille.

Edited by Tony

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I thought I had found the same building in Sailly but it probably isn't.

There's no date on the postcards but it looks 1916 to me.

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A soldier of the Great War.

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Fred Spencer of the 16th Public Schools Bn. was killed attacking RIR 119 who were in trenches near Beaumont Hamel.

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Just received the latest edition of the Legion magazine - I'm an associet member of the Royal Canadian Legion - which includes articles by two historians on whether the Somme was a total disaster or a clever ploy to wear down the German Army through attrition. Really! All I can say to that is: if that's you're 'clever ploy', God help the poor sods on both sides who have to take part in one of your stupid ideas! Right up there with a knife fight in which each guy hopes the other will bleed out first so that he'll 'win'!

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5th August 1916

British take 2000 yards of trenches.

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Apologies, I've not been on the forum for a while. But the other day I went to view the diaries of a gentleman who served in the Accrington Pals. His granddaughter had got in touch with my publisher after he had placed an appeal in the Warrington Guardian the other week. My publisher was (is) working on a pet project of his to bring out a book entirely based on the diaries and letters of soldiers (provisionally) from the Cheshire and Lancashire area's. I went down to view the diaries the other day, and what an experience! I picked up one of the notebooks and opened it at a random page. It just happened to be dated 1st July 1916, 7.30am. The Pte went into detail about: "Our Battalion got over the parapet and advanced just as if they were on parade,"

I strongly suspect that the entry was actually written on or around the4th July, because he details the casualties - between 500 to 600 dead and wounded, and of his Company Commander being killed in the German trench. He then describes how the injured kept turning up over the next few days after... "crawling back off no mans land." The next entry is for the 5th July. none of this material has ever been seen before. After I contacted my publisher and told him of the contents, he agreed with me that this should be a book in its own right.

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Further to the diaries, he served throughout the war. His diary entry for 1th November 1918 is extremely revealing. He comments about being informed at 01.00 a. m. that the armistice will commence at 11.00 hrs. There is reference to how they advanced to a village and the Nuns made soup for the lads. Also mention of a French soldier being sniped by two 'Bosche' at 10.55 a. m. and how he felt that the Frenchman would probably be the last man to be killed in the war.

Edited by Harry the Mole

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Here is a nice card, dedicated by Major von Fabeck, commander of the RIR99 at Thiepval on the 1st day of the Somme, dedicated to a Vizefeldwebel Rimkel in memory of the difficult days at Thiepval....thiepf.thumb.jpg.c71a3d3843a813422816be9thiepb.thumb.jpg.520051555e902b25ceadcdc

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I might have shown this before - Thiepval in 1940.

Thiepval 1940.jpg

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Tony, thanks for posting that wonderful series of battlefield photos.

I have a few "Somme souvenirs". One I have a photo of handy is this German bayonet. The bayonet and scabbard are both marked to Bavarian regiments although with different numbers. Note the inscription scratched into the back of the scabbard. I have had this for quite a number of years.

 

Souvenir bayo front.JPG

Souvenir bayo legend.JPG

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Nice one, William!  presumably a 'bring back' by a Tommy who acquired it at Devil Wood.  looks to be in good nick too. 

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