1st of July 1916 @ 07:30

...I, that on my familiar hill
Saw with uncomprehending eyes
A hundred of Thy sunsets spill
Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
Must say good-bye to all of this;-
By all delights that I shall miss,
Help me to die, O Lord.

The last poem of William Noel Hodgson (written just before the battle of the Somme).

At this time, the Battle of the Somme began (officially)

May they all Rest In Peace.
Pte W McFadzean VC 14th Royal Irish Rifles, quite possibly the first casualty of the Somme offensive.

For most conspicuous bravery. While in a concentration trench and opening a box of bombs for distribution prior to an attack, the box slipped down into the trench, which was crowded with men, and two of the safety pins fell out. Private McFadzean, instantly realising the danger to his comrades, with heroic courage threw himself on the top of the Bombs. The bombs exploded blowing him to pieces, but only one other man was injured. He well knew his danger, being himself a bomber, but without a moment's hesitation he gave his life for his comrades.

Bloody brave bunch of chaps them lads.
Lest We Forget.
I've stood with other arrsers on the Somme and been awed at what took place on that morning.
Ord_Sgt said:
I've stood with other arrsers on the Somme and been awed at what took place on that morning.
It's 8 years since I've been, and only went for 2 full days, but could go back tomorrow and practically do a guided store, can remember much of what I saw and was told (by a fantastic tour guide) with no memory fade whatsoever.

Got a lovely week of weather for it, and will never forget the views from the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge (or the sheer size of the thing itself), or Thiepval; the tranquility of Newfoundland Memorial Park yet to think that 86 years earlier it had been the scene of some of the most horrific carnage ever seen. For such a place, it is totally unimaginable that it could be a place where so many lost their lives in such unacceptable circumstances.

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