Lest we forget a not so current affair


86 years ago yesterday, July the 1st 1916, in broad daylight, one hundred thousand men, climbed out of their trenches and advanced shoulder to shoulder in line, one behind the other, across the crater-torn waste of No Man's Land. Weighed down by 30 kilograms of equipment each, they advanced slowly towards the awaiting German guns. This was the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The casualties sustained by the British army in the opening day of the Battle of Somme totalled 57,470, of which 19,240 were fatal.

No unit suffered heavier losses than the Newfoundland Regiment, which had gone into action 801 strong. When the roll call of the unwounded was taken next day, only 68 answered their names. The final figures that revealed the virtual annihilation of the Battalion gave a grim count of 233 killed or died of wounds, 386 wounded, and 91 missing. Every officer who went forward in the Newfoundland attack was either killed or wounded.

The Battle of Somme continued relentlessly for five more months. May we never forget the sacrifice of so many individuals who died to protect the freedoms of others.


Absolutely agree, although I think its important that we remember that they were British and Commonwealth troops.  Those Newfoundlanders were of course Canadian and many Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, etc also went the same way.


And in the list of the fallen, please also remember the vast numbers of Irishmen who are often overlooked.  17 Officers and 429 men were lost to 1 RIR on the opening day of the battle alone.
I think that you'll most probably find that there was a very large list of, not only units from all over the commonwealth (Empire?), but also individuals in the units from all over the world.

I think everyone who has ever served has the utmost respect for all the soldiers who climbed over the top and walked towards the enemy machineguns.... that must have taken some b@lls no matter where the unit or individual came from.

I know no war is ever humane, but that was just mindless salughter due to weapons technology waiting for tactics to catch up.
Requiem aeternam in dona eis pacem.
I think I just have to mention this Woopert, but no matter how fitting and heartfelt the sentiment, as most visitors to these boards are by the very nature of an 'army rumour service'.... um, army..... I'm sure that there are a couple who have trouble even with the english language. Maybe any posts in Latin should be accompanied with sub-titles?  :-/

Just a thought, but I agree.... may they all rest in eternal peace.

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