GWL 1st July 1916

War Office has shut up my school!  Now I am in the throes of handing in all my stuff.  Address everything to the battalion.  I will write again to-morrow.  Rather fed up.”

At 7.30 AM the Allied Forces opened the Somme offensive.  The primary objective was to open up a further front to draw German Forces from the ongoing assault on Verdun to give relief to the French forces.  Following a week of intense bombardment the infantry attack commenced at 7.30AM.  Although in some areas significant ground gains were made, the casualty rate on the British side was the worst in history for a single day of action with an estimated 57,000 casualties, approximately one third of whom were fatalities.  The battle was to last 141 days.


{next post 5th July}

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