Saturday 16 July 2016

Day Sixteen on the Somme

Sunday 16th July 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

Today I understand from the adjutant that 7th Bedfords, currently out of the front line at Maricourt, were ordered to be prepared to attack the village of Guillemont but as they began to move off around 2 pm the order was cancelled as the Germans were still holding parts of Delville Wood and Longueval village, immediately west of Guillemont. Sadly the South Africans have been so decreased in numbers that their attempts to take the last portion of the wood (the north-west tip) have come to nothing. An attack to take the northern part of Longueval village by other units of 9th Division was also repulsed.

Elsewhere the village of Ovillers has finally fallen after sixteen days of attacks. The victors, we believe, were units from 25th and 48th Divisions. In High Wood the units of 7th Division in the wood were withdrawn just before midnight in the face of overwhelming German numbers and strong defensive positions.

Source: X550/8/1

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