Any truth in this tale from the Somme?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by REMEbrat, Nov 6, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Many years ago I heard a story about an incident that allegedly took place at the battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916 at what became the Lochnagar Crater and would like to know if its true.
    As some people know at 7.28 24 tons of explosive were detonated beneath German positions immediatly before an advance by allied troops along a 12 mile front. The story I have heard is that a British soldier waiting in the trenches for the charges to blow readied himself by placing a leg on the front wall of the trench as he leaned against the rear wall. When the charges blew the shock waves given off were so severe they fractured this soldiers leg so badly it had to be amputated.

    Is this tale true or a case of Chinese whispers?
  2. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Several million deaths and several million more severely injured and you are trying to find out if some bloke broke his leg :?
  3. Ninteen mines were fired on the first of july and rumour has it that quite a few brits were injured but they seemed pritty insig by what happened a few minites later. see yhe book "beneth flanders fields" very interesting all about John Norton Griffiths and his band of underground nutters
  4. I think it is true because Sgt H Benzing of Grimsby who was interviewed by Martin Middlebrooke for his book "First day of the Somme says so on P120 chapter 6. He says that it happened to one of the Privates in the Grimsby chums. (10th Lincs) He added that he had heard that the leg had to be amputated.

    "Beneath Flanders fields" is an excellent book on the topic of tunnelling and mining. It lists the safety distances for friendly forces from the mines at Messines:-

    All trenches and surfae dugiouts within 300yds to be vacated at the moment of firing all tunnelled dugoiuts and subways within 400 yards vaceted and all brick buildings walls and damaged trees to be avoided within 500 yds.

    It describes the problems of shiock, particularly the danges to the Germans of the concrete bunkers which could channel and echo shockwaves in such a way that a near miss by an artillery shell could kill the occupants without breaching the bunker.
  5. John Norton Griffiths was welsh one of god chosen few