By Richard Van Emden
The offensive at the Somme came about among July and November 1916 and could be the main iconic conflict of the nice warfare. It used to be there that Kitchener’s well-known ‘Pals’ Battalions have been first despatched into motion en masse and it was once a battlefield the place the various goals and aspirations of a state, hopeful of victory, have been agonizingly dashed.
Because of its mythical prestige, the Somme has been the topic of many books, and lots of extra will pop out subsequent yr. although, not anything has ever been released at the conflict within which the warriors’ personal pictures were used to demonstrate either the campaign’s amazing comradeship and its carnage.
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Extra resources for The Somme: The Epic Battle in the Soldiers’ own Words and Photographs
What started the idea was that this place is overrun by rats. We were warned of this by the Leinsters before we came in, so Bell said he strongly advised us all to get cats and take them into the trenches with us to protect us. Our servants scoured the village and we actually bought a kitten for two francs. The other cats escaped, but the kitten was duly carried up to the trenches that long 10 miles and lives in his dugout. But it has not ‘strafed’ any rats yet. In fact the rats don’t think much of it (it is smaller than they are).
The Germans had no doubt discovered that they were now faced by the ‘Englanders’, and were telling us what they Private Sydney Fuller, 8th Suffolk Regiment 28 THE SOMME thought of us all, and we were making a suitable reply. We (the Suffolks) were distributed, a few men here and there, amongst the Gordons, to learn what real war was like. I was sent with O. Brown and one of the Gordons to a ‘listening post’ or ‘sally port’. We crept along a shallow trench which ran forward from the front line, under the barbed wire, and found at the extreme end, at the front edge of our barbed wire, a short cross-trench just large enough to accommodate the three of us.
A pair of binoculars are to his right. 36 THE SOMME one tin of jam to every seventeen men, instead of one between four. That – considering there is no such thing as butter, and jam is the only thing besides cheese that one really eats, as no one can stand bully beef now – I thought was a real hardship! But all round, the infantry get it worse than we do; the only pull they have over us is that they move by day and we always by night. A lot of them have cut their trousers off just above the knee and go about in boots and socks under that arrangement of clothing!