Monday 19 September 2016

Day Eighty One on the Somme

Tuesday 19th September 1916: From our Correspondent in the Field

The adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, now well away to the north of the Somme has spoken to me on the telephone this afternoon telling me about awards for men of the battalion for bravery in their recent participation in the battle of the Somme. Private A W Brandon has received the Russian medal of Saint George, 4th Class and the Military medal has been awarded to the following:

  • No.21160 Pte.R.Hooson
  • No.21172 Pte.T.Lees
  • No.9757 L/C.A.Thorogood
  • No.9297 Cpl.G.Gurney
  • No.9387 L/C.F.Boyce
  • No.5389 Sgt.F.Robinson
  • No.9022 Pte.A.Milliard
  • No.16641 Sgt.F.Brown
  • No.14470 Cpl.S.Thurgood
  • No.15111 Pte.E.Humbles
  • No.18833 Pte.F.Sutton
  • No.18180 Pte.H.Gray
  • No.18812 Pte.L.Palmer
  • No.9617 Sgt.R.Kirby
  • No.17906 Pte.W.Gadsby
  • No.12951 Pte.A.Wood(1) 
Captain Leslie Keep of the 7th Battalion has told me that he has been to the front line trenches near Thiepval today to reconnoitre the ground. He did not seem too happy at the prospect. He also told me that Captain A E Percival(2) has been awarded the Military Cross for his actions on 1st July. Private H W Fish, formerly of C Company (since transferred to the 1st Bedfords) has received the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The 8th Battalion, or what remains of it, has moved back to Morlancourt.

On the battlefield there has been small movement across the battle-front as units secure the objectives set for the great attack on 15th September. Only the 47th (1st/2nd London) Division has met with any real set-back as their probes forward were pushed back to a position called The Cough Drop north of High Wood and at the bottom right of the map above.

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/8/1; X550/9/1

(1) Sergeant George Gurney MM was killed on 22nd March 1918 and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. Lance Corporal F Boyce MM had died on 11th August 1916 and is buried in Saint-Sever Cemetery, Rouen. Lance Corporal Hubert Ernest Gray MM was killed on 27th September 1918 and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial. Company Sergeant Major Robert Gladstone Kirby MM was killed on 26th July 1917 and is buried at Bedford House Cemetery. Private Andrew Wood MM was killed on 13th November 1917 and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

(2) This is Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival, the man who surrendered Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. His decorations would eventually include the Order of the Bath, the Distinguished Service Cross, with bar, the Order of the British Empire and the Order of Saint John.

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