Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A Warm Night on the Somme

Thursday 6th January 1916: The 1st Battalion are back in the front line near the village of Fricourt on the Somme. The adjutant reports that our artillery cut the German wire opposite and at dusk last night a patrol ventured out to inspect the damage and found the trench very strongly held, suggesting the enemy expected an attack or a raid. Our artillery fired around sixty shells of which twenty were six inch shells – some idea of their power can be obtained by the fact that they six inch guns form the main armament of a light cruiser.

Next door, as it were, are 7th Battalion who experienced considerably more rifle fire from the enemy last night, perhaps as a result of what 1st Battalion was up to. The Germans seemed to be playing a game involving snipers trying to smash the Bedfords’ periscopes with which they peer over the trench into No Man’s Land (to stick one’s head up is to invite instant death).

Sources: X550/2/5 and X550/8/1

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