The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
7th January 1916On this day:
- Daily Battery Activity The 1st London Brigade RFA is being attached to this Brigade (Lowe Group) in its new position, & sections of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd City of London Batteries relieved the French, on the south side of Fosse 7.
One position of the German trenches (The Chord and Poiz Williz) were bombarded today by the combined Royal Horse Artillery and Lowe Group sections at Annequin. Sections of Lowe Group at Fosse 7 registered.
The remainder of the 3rd Bty Royal Horse Artillery came into action at Annequin tonight, thereby relieving the remainder of Lowe Group sections. These, together with the remaining sections of the 1st London Brigade RFA relieved the remainder of the French.
Brigade Headquarters moved to Les Brebis.
- SS Andania departs Malta The SS Andania sails from Valetta Harbour, Malta heading for Egypt, the 13th Battalion Yorks and Lancs Regt are amongst her passengers.
- 7th Jan 1916 7th Northumberlands into Trenches
- 7th Jan 1916 Losses during Withdrawal
- 7th Jan 1916 Pride in Their Work
- 7th Jan 1916 Interview with a Captain
- 7th Jan 1916 Enemy Active
- 7th Jan 1916 Trench Work
- 7th Jan 1916 Preparations
- 8th Yorks and Lancs at the Battle of The Somme Plans had long been in place for the great offensive along the line of the River Somme to draw the Germans away from Verdun to the East and so relieve the beleaguered French forces there. Despite what many people have been told about the Somme battle, it was never intended to be a war-winning campaign. It had clearly defined strategic aims, and in many respects was successful, it’s failures are extremely complex and outside the scope of this article. That it has become a by-word for failure and incompetence is, in my opinion, unfair. The huge and terrible loss of life has blinded us to any other interpretation but it is pertinent to remember that a German Staff Officer described the Somme as ‘the muddy grave of the German Field Army’.
After the artillery barrage lifted, the battalions began their assault near the village of Ovillers at 7.30am, 1st July 1916. Immediately after leaving their trenches the battalion came under heavy machine gun fire and most of the men were killed or wounded. The remainder carried on and took the enemy front line trenches and about 70 men eventually reached as far as the third line of German trenches, but only one man returned from there! What was left of the battalion remained fighting in the first line of trenches until overwhelmed.
Such was the ferocity of the fighting that the Germans were forced to move extra troops in to face the 70th Brigade and this enabled other British units to make significant advances.
The 8th York and Lancaster Regiment took 680 men and 23 Officers over the parapet, all the Officers were either killed or wounded and of the battalion only 68 returned. The battalion had effectively ceased to exist as a fighting unit and was withdrawn that evening. The 8th K.O.Y.L.I.’s losses were only marginally less.
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