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100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme

Article about: Yesterday - July 2nd, I attended the 100th anniversary Somme event at Heaton Park, Manchester. The organisers put on a fantastic display, but unfortunately the attendance by the general publ

  1. #1

    Default 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme

    Yesterday - July 2nd, I attended the 100th anniversary Somme event at Heaton Park, Manchester. The organisers put on a fantastic display, but unfortunately the attendance by the general public was no that good. I gave my talk on the Accrington Pals - and the finer points of the SMLE, in the afternoon in the speakers tent, and it all appeared to go down well. I met up with some really nice people from the re-enacting community. There was a serving officer (Major) from the regular army who was dressed up as a Major in the Manchester Regiment - and he didn't half look the part.

    I found the TV coverage very good on the Friday. But I was quite surprised by Dame Shirley Williams when she spoke about the 'Pals' battalions, it was obvious that she didn't have a clue what she was on about - and she had to be corrected by historian, Richard van Emden. Then a serving soldier was interviewed, and he was going on about the 20,000 casualties on the first day of the battle - and then the TV host interviewing him said that 60,000 were killed on the first day. Where on earth do these people get their information from at all? do they employ monkeys to do the research for them?

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    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  2. #2

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    Awesome photos Steve and too bad about the dud info!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

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    Great stuff Steve, well done.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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    There are I believe 12 members of the East Lancashire Regiment buried at the Serre Road Cemetery No.2, the largest Cemetery on the Somme with over 7000 burials mostly dating from 1916, perhaps some of the Pal's are buried here ? I/We visited on the afternoon 1st July this year, 2016

    Cheers
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    A lot of the casualties from July 1st/2nd have no known graves.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  6. #6

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    A lot of the casualties from July 1st/2nd have no known graves.
    Yes indeed Steve, nearly 5000 are unidentified at Serre Road Cemetery alone

    We attended the RBL service at Thiepval Saturday morning, July 2nd, was very thought provoking

    Cheers
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    A lot of the casualties from July 1st/2nd have no known graves.
    I found the whole Somme visit this 1st July a deeply moving experience.
    It really hit me hard when I visited a small cemetery just outside Albert on the main Albert-Bapaume road, not far from La Boisselle. I attended the memorial at Lochnager Crater on July 1st
    The 34th Division went over the top at 07:30 to attack La Boisselle. Some 2300 men were killed during the assault, the heaviest loss of any Division on July 1st, over 1950 of these men have no known grave.

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    On the afternoon of July 1st, Lt Col Rickman (CO Accrington Pals) sent back a report to 94th Brigade HQ concerning the state of his front...

    3.50, R18. Very intense bombardment of my front line. all posts driven in
    by artillery fire. men accommodated in Excema.
    urgently require more men.
    Bombardment still intense especially from Rossignol.
    Lt Ryden severely wounded.

    R19. I have 55 men in all, some of whom are wounded 2 Lewis guns
    only two men to work them one of them wounded, pans filled by
    officers servants.


    This was from a force of just over 700 men at Rickman's disposal on the morning of July 1st. On July 4th in the 94th Brigade area, arrangements were made for the 6th Gloucester's to take over the line. The casualty figures for the whole of the 94th Brigade were as follows...

    KILLED - 17 officers, 131 other ranks.
    WOUNDED - 36 officers, 596 .... ....
    MISSING - 11 officers, 872 .... ....
    TOTAL - 64 officers, 1599 .... ....

    The list of the dead for the Accrington Pals looks is even more shocking when viewed as a document. I compiled the roll of honour from the lists of those interred and names on war memorials. I deliberately placed it at the end of my account concerning the fighting at Serre. Such lists are usually placed in the back of books and hardly get looked at. If anyone wishes to use these documents, please feel free to do so.

    Cheers,
    Steve.

    img002.jpgimg003.jpgimg004.jpgimg005.jpgimg006.jpgimg007.jpgimg008.jpg
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #9
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    interesting, thanks for showing

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