Battle of the Somme.

waddy999

Winger
I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Grandad's older brother died at this time...not knowing that he would recieve the DCM after the previous night's trench raid where he was wounded but still went back to rescue an officer and comrades. They must have patched him up and he went over top and was killed, body never found. His name is on the memorial at Thiepval. My grandad died in 1918.... dreadful war.
 
My great grandad was with the 22btn Northumberland Fusiliers. He was a miner and aged 36 joined up in 1915. He didn't have to go but he lied about his job so he could join up. They did their training at Alnwick then to Salisbury then into northern France for some trench training. After a few weeks in France they went by rail to Amiens. From there they marched the 15 miles or so to the town of Albert and from Albert they marched the last 2 miles to the trenches at La Boiselle. He went over the top at 0730 between the the glory hole and the new crater blown at the mine dug from lochnaggar Street trench. Its only about 150 metres and I can't be sure exactly at which point he crossed. No man's land was only between 50 and 150 yards at this point and they had a relatively short walk.

Their btn has reasonable success with some men being seen in the second German lines.

We don't know where he fell or if he was killed instantly or wounded and bled out on the battlefield or was shelled by the Germans where he might have been sheltering in a shell hole. All we know is that his body was never recovered.

The next morning at roll call out of a battalion of 1600 men only 155 officers NCOs and other ranks reported. They suffered one of the biggest losses that morning.

I went to France last year to retrace his steps. People talk about eerie feelings about the place and its 100% true. Using old trench maps and GPS and overlays I stood on the same line where his trench would have been and walked up to where the German line was. It was a cold windy cloudy type of day late September. When I started walking across the field which is now a beetroot field the wind died instantly which really spooked me. The clouds drifted apart and the sun came out. You could hear the birds. My gf said at the time she feels all goose bumpy. When we got to the road where the German line was it went cloudy again and windy and it was really really strange.

I also went to newfoundland Park which is well worth a visit and they had awful at their point of the line. One petrified tree remains in nml and its amazing its survived all the shelling and shooting that day.


I'll be going back this year to do some more investigating once all this vitus stuff disappears. Sorry its a bit long but it's an emotional subject for me.
 

vinegar hill

Striker
My great grandad was with the 22btn Northumberland Fusiliers. He was a miner and aged 36 joined up in 1915. He didn't have to go but he lied about his job so he could join up. They did their training at Alnwick then to Salisbury then into northern France for some trench training. After a few weeks in France they went by rail to Amiens. From there they marched the 15 miles or so to the town of Albert and from Albert they marched the last 2 miles to the trenches at La Boiselle. He went over the top at 0730 between the the glory hole and the new crater blown at the mine dug from lochnaggar Street trench. Its only about 150 metres and I can't be sure exactly at which point he crossed. No man's land was only between 50 and 150 yards at this point and they had a relatively short walk.

Their btn has reasonable success with some men being seen in the second German lines.

We don't know where he fell or if he was killed instantly or wounded and bled out on the battlefield or was shelled by the Germans where he might have been sheltering in a shell hole. All we know is that his body was never recovered.

The next morning at roll call out of a battalion of 1600 men only 155 officers NCOs and other ranks reported. They suffered one of the biggest losses that morning.

I went to France last year to retrace his steps. People talk about eerie feelings about the place and its 100% true. Using old trench maps and GPS and overlays I stood on the same line where his trench would have been and walked up to where the German line was. It was a cold windy cloudy type of day late September. When I started walking across the field which is now a beetroot field the wind died instantly which really spooked me. The clouds drifted apart and the sun came out. You could hear the birds. My gf said at the time she feels all goose bumpy. When we got to the road where the German line was it went cloudy again and windy and it was really really strange.

I also went to newfoundland Park which is well worth a visit and they had awful at their point of the line. One petrified tree remains in nml and its amazing its survived all the shelling and shooting that day.


I'll be going back this year to do some more investigating once all this vitus stuff disappears. Sorry its a bit long but it's an emotional subject for me.
That’s a great post mate.
 
Walked the battlefield last summer: Christ man they never stood a chance. Wide open and beautiful lines of sight. And those clever Germans had machine gun nests that could cover each other at daft distances away. Haunting place.
I've got a copy of a German trench map from newfoundland Park and it shows the machine gun positions their arc of fire and effective distance. They didn't fire direct opposite towards the tommies they fired their arc offset and relied on the gun nearest them to create the crossfire which created maximum casualties. The usual fire rate for a machine gun was approx 2000 per day. Official reports say some guns were firing 40,000 rounds that day. They had to pee into the coolant tins to keep the guns firing as they ran out of water. Some even stopped firing when they saw the suffering they were causing and allowed wounded men to return back to the trench. Some had a blood lust after being shelled for 7 days continuously and wanted to cause as much pain as they could. They were shooting wounded men caught up on the wire.
 

Tire

Reserve Squad
According to family tales my great grandad died on the very first morning - he was with the Tyneside Scottish.
In fact this thread has prompted me to go and check - I knew his name was on the Roll of Honour in Edinburgh Castle - turns out they've got that fully online now, and his death is recorded there:

1st July 1916: Pte Thomas Sanderson, Service Number: 21/1541
If you have a name for him you can search the national records and can order his service certificate. Failing that I've got a book which lists all those from the NF who fell.
Thanks for this - see above - found his name on the Scottish National War Memorial website - once they are back post COVID I'm going to get a print out to keep in the family records
 
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In fact this thread has prompted me to go and check - I knew his name was on the Roll of Honour in Edinburgh Castle - turns out they've got that fully online now, and his death is recorded there:

1st July 1916: Pte Thomas Sanderson, Service Number: 21/1541

Thanks for this - see above - found his name on the Scottish National War Memorial website - once they are back post COVID I'm going to get a print out to keep in the family records
There's a book by Graham Stewart and John sheen called tyneside scottish. It's a really good book tracing the NF through the war. It'll set you back about 20 quid but it's well worth it. At the back it lists all those that fell their name rank next of kin and where their address was at the time of joining up. It has the story of how they formed pics of training and pics from the trenches. There's a couple which show the area around where my great grandad fell and the field is littered with the bodies of the fallen. It's a shocking photo to actually see the level of the massacre.
 

Tire

Reserve Squad
There's a book by Graham Stewart and John sheen called tyneside scottish. It's a really good book tracing the NF through the war. It'll set you back about 20 quid but it's well worth it. At the back it lists all those that fell their name rank next of kin and where their address was at the time of joining up. It has the story of how they formed pics of training and pics from the trenches. There's a couple which show the area around where my great grandad fell and the field is littered with the bodies of the fallen. It's a shocking photo to actually see the level of the massacre.
Thanks again :) I've just ordered it from amazon - there have always been tales passed around so will be interesting to put some historical context around it.
Apparently he lied about his age to join up as, at the time, he was too old (over 40) but wanted to go with his pals from Birtley
 

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