Tuesday 28 June 2016

Thinning Out the Ranks

Wednesday 28th June 1916: As the bombardment of the German lines continues on the Somme, the adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, at Maricourt, reports that the Germans have been replying powerfully, bombarding our front lines. So effective has this German barrage been that two companies of the Bedfords have been withdrawn to allow the 17th and 20th Battalions, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment to thin out their ranks. They were crowded together in the front line ready to advance at the moment decided by high command but the heavy German shelling wounded 120 of them during the night and early morning. To judge by this it seems as if the 2nd Battalion will not be one of those units making the initial assault but will, rather be in support, which should lessen the number of casualties suffered.

Source: X550/3/wd

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