Search results for Battle of the Somme.

7 September 1916 : Gnr George Butt

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George, first born of Frederick (a railway signalman from Somerset) and Mary. By the 1911 Census, George, a farm labourer, his parents and five siblings, were living in Long Preston, Hawes.  The year before enlisting George's sister Elsie died of a short illness.  In January 1916 he went to Settle to enlist. He joined the Royal Horse Artillery…


27 October 1918 : Pte Reginald Smith

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Parents: Alfred (leather currier/bricklayer's assistant) and Bertha Smith In 1901, age 2, Reginald lived at home (3 Mosely Place, Leeds) with his parents, 4 year old sister and a boarder. Age 12 at the 1911 Census, Reginald was at school (part-time) while working as a 'doffer'. He was living at home (4 Walton St, Sutton Mill, Keighley) with his …


31 October 1916 : Sgt James Sandeman Cunningham

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James Cunningham emigrated to Canada, where he was employed as a chartered accountant in Montréal at the time of the outbreak of war. James enlisted into the Canadian Army at Montréal on 31 July 1915 initially into the 13th Royal Highlanders of Canada, but he transferred to the 73rd Bn CEF upon embarking for overseas service at the end of 1915…


Who was Ronald Johnson ? 29 May 1917

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Prologue With the Glazer family takeover of Manchester United Football Club between 2003 and 2005 a group of Manchester United supporters, who were disillusioned at the way that ‘modern' football was being run (and organised in general), decided to form their own, totally democratic, supporter-owned, breakaway club. After much discussion, this new…


Major 'Alastair' Soutar, M.C.

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One of the well known 'classic' accounts of the First World War is 'Twelve Days' published in 1933 (and more recently republished as 'Twelve Days on the Somme') by Sidney Rogerson, an officer on the staff of 23 Infantry Brigade (part of the 8th Division). Less well known is his second book, about his experiences in May 1918 on the Aisne. This accou…


18 July 1916 : L/CPL Eugene Walter Linley

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Father Fred (from Huddersfield) and mother Ellen Louisa.  At the 1901 Scotland census records show that the 8 year old Eugene was living on Muirfield Road, Inverness, with his parents and brothers Frederick Kay [b.1890] and Richard Musgrave [b.1898] and a 19 year old domestic servant Mary Fraser. He enlisted in September 1914.    The 5th (Servi…


19 October 1917 : Gnr. Henry Clark, 50th Bde, Royal Field Artillery

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Henry was a weaver at Queensgate Mill, Burnley prior to enlistment. He enlisted into the RFA in Blackburn on 22nd October 1915 and, after a year of training in the UK, embarked for service on the Western Front on 19th October 1916. After seeing action during the latter stage of the Battle of the Somme and during the Battle of Arras, Henry was kil…


Video: Four veterans remember the Battle of the Somme

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The documentary below was produced in 1991 and featured four veterans reminiscing about their time on the Somme in 1916. The veterans featured were Tom Bromley, Alf Razzell, Sid Lovell and Donald Hodge. Although the picture quality is not great, we thought members may enjoy watching this video.  As will be seen in the end credits, The Western Fro…


From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army, 1902-1914 by Spencer Jones

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2012, £22.33, 314pp ISBN: 9–780–806–142–890  Paddy Griffiths said that from the second day of the Battle of the Somme the British Army went through the steepest learning curve of its entire existence. The same could have been said, during the Second Boer War, of the Battle of Paardeberg where, although eventually triu…


11 April 1917: Lieut. Arthur Pole Godfrey

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He was the only son of Charles Godfrey and Evelyn (née Browne). He was educated at Chigwell School and at a school in France. He was good at  football, cricket and tennis.  Age 20, he went to Ceylon 1899 and eventually became a partner in a Tea Plantation. He joined the Ceylon Rifles and on the outbreak of war returned to England.  Gazetted 1…


ONLINE: “ I Shall Hope To Try an Officer and at least One Corporal for Cowardice” -Michael Le Cicero ZOOM

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'I Shall Hope To Try an Officer and at least One Corporal for Cowardice' with Michael Le Cicero 1916 was a pivotal year for the British Army. It was a year of intense combat that was defined by the Battle of the Somme and the appalling casualties of the 1st July 1916. Yet it was also the year in which the British Army began to master industrial wa…