Thursday 1 September 2016

Day Sixty Three on the Somme

Friday 1st September 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

Today sees the beginning of a third month of fighting in this Battle of the Somme. The longest continuous battle in which British forces have taken part in this war before this was the fourteen days of the Battle of Loos. Indeed, one questions whether this really is a battle at all, it is more like a long, protracted siege and the longest of those in which the British Army has ever been engaged is the siege of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1782, which lasted three years and seven months. Today there was been more serious fighting in Delville Wood. 24th Division has attacked the wood from the east but has been able to make no progress.

Second Lieutenant Christopher Blake

The 1st Battalion are currently in Silesia Trenches, just north of Maricourt and now, after two months’ fighting some way behind the lines. They have been finding working parties nearer the front line, which have been heavily shelled with tear gas and other gas shells. The adjutant described Silesia Trench to me succinctly as “in a very bad condition and insanitary”. Second Lieutenant Blake and Second Lieutenant Williams, along with thirty other ranks have just joined as reinforcements.

Second Lieutenant H D Chester

The 2nd Bedfords are at Gorre, near Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, where they were for much of 1915. They, too, have had reinforcements including Second Lieutenant I T M Collins, Second Lieutenant W H Bird and Second Lieutenant H D Chester.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/3/wd

No comments:

Post a Comment