Centenary of the Somme – Eleven amazing images

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood
On the 10th day we find 10 Corps & Regiments for Co-op men

On the 11th day we see eleven amazing images of Montauban

The Manchester Regiment Archive has published some hi-resolution images on Europeana and GM1914.  Combined with IWM photographs, it has been possible to see a clear perspective on the Manchester Pals holding positions in Montauban on 1st and 2nd July 1916.  Combined with a review of historical documents, an intimate view of events in the village has been created.  Conscious of Copyright ownership, this paper has not yet been published.  Consent would be available for the Western Front Association to use the article, yet I’m a little reserved with my writing prowess.  I hope to polish the document first.

Here’s a few links

Noon on 1st July in Montauban Alley with 16th Battalion Manchester Regiment

Men rest in Montauban Alley after preparing defences

16th Battalion men relax in a damaged section of Montauban Alley

2nd Lieutenant Harvey in Montauban Alley

Lieutenant Megson in Montauban

Return from Montauban – The 2nd July Battlefield

Valley Trench in the former German Front line. This area became a battlefield burial plot

The last four can be seen below

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Centenary of the Somme – Ten Corps and Regiments

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

On the 10th day we find 10 Corps & Regiments for Co-op men

Sergeant Percy Amos was a member of Arthur Bell’s Platoon in the 2nd Manchester Pals.  Percy has the first name mentioned on the Memorial Roll of Co-operative Wholesale Society Head Office and this inspired further research.   Employees from the Balloon Street office answered the call to duty and most enlisted in the Army during September to November 1914.  Each man’s choice of Regiment in this period has always intrigued me and the extensive records for the group created an interesting case study.  The Co-op men enlisted in numerous sections of the Army, ranging from the local Manchester Regiment and Lancashire Fusiliers to Royal Scots and the Medical Corps.  Representatives served in ten Corps or Regiments.  See Manchester Co-op’s Battle of the Somme

The recruitment, training and service of Head Office men was reviewed, with a clear focus on their losses on the Somme in 1916. The Co-operative Wholesale Society Cabinet Makers Memorial from Salford was found in a skip a few years ago and this Roll of Honour has been used as a comparison between the men from the Head Office.  More work is needed in 2017, possibly with a third review of the men from the Biscuit and Jam Factory in Crumpsall.

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Centenary of the Somme – 9th day of July

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

On the 9th day of July the Battle of the Somme continued

The Battle of the Somme continued for 141 days in 1916 and there have been various interesting centenary events.  The 17th Manchesters returned to the front with fighting at Trones Wood on 9th July, Guillemont on 30th July and Flers on 12th October.  These centenary days have been a focus for the blog, although the continuation Battle of the Somme is not forgotten until it limped to a halt in a morass of  cold wet mud on 18th November 1916.  Next year we have the centenary of the Battle of Arras and the 3rd Battle of Ypres and Polderhoek Ypres in December 1917.

 

Centenary of the Somme – Eighth Panel at Brookwood

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester

On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

Source: Great War Casualty now commemorated 100 years after his death.

Research on Co-op rolls of honour produced the name of Joseph Locker, with a surprisingly incomplete record.  He is named on various Memorials, but no entry could be found with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  With the help of SWARM and MRF, a submission was made to through IFCP.  Joseph was then acknowledged as a casualty of the Great War and originally commemorated in the United Kingdom Book of Remembrance.  Various unsuccessful have been made to find out where Joseph is buried.  As a result, his name has now been added to the Brookwood 1914-18 Memorial .  I was passing the extensive Brookwood Cemetery on the Sunday evening, immediately after a group of new names had been added.  It was a very powerful moment to see Joseph’s name inscribed in the stone of Panel 8, more than 100 years after he died.

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Centenary of the Somme – Seven Pals from Manchester

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star

On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester

This number could be extended indefinitely, yet I particular recognise men mentioned in Arthur Bell’s journal and events in WWI:-

Steve Broadmeadow

Manchester Evening News 28 July 1916 S Broadmeadow

MEN 28/7/1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Manchester Evening News 02 August 1916 S Broadmeadow

MEN 2/8/1916. © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Horrockses Crewsden - Steve Broadmeadow

Lance Corporal Steve Broadmeadow

Thiepval L.Sgt S Broadmeadow

8084 Lance Sergeant Steve Broadmeadow KiA 10/7/16.

Another aspect of our militarisation was shown at Grantham.  Half a dozen lads of our platoon, including myself, walked a distance of three miles one evening to Grantham from Belton Park …We went the round of the pubs, but I had pork pie with lemonade each time, instead of beer.  On the way back to barracks we all managed to tumble into an already half-filled conveyance, somewhat larger than an ordinary car without any roof on.  Now, I was blown up as you can guess, my pals were canned up, but every one of us, except myself, travelled on the mini-bus without paying!  At least that is what they said – one was an N.C.O. (Steve Broadmeadow) See Belton Park & Trones Wood

Allan Thomas Selbourne Holt

2nd Lt Alan T S Holt

Courtesy Book of Honour

ICRC Alan Holt.1

PoW Records

Arthur Bell noted “It had been he (Lt. Holt) who, one night, when, after much marching, I was on sentry duty go – more than half asleep standing up – challenged me and told me the consequences of being asleep on my post.  I learn from the official record that he subsequently gained the M.C. (Military Cross).  Mr Middlebrook’s book shows that he was alive at the time of writing.”
“At a lesson some  time later, conducted by an officer of our own
[Lieutenant Alan Holt], a similar accident occurred with rifle grenades, lives were lost (three I think), and the lieutenant himself was injured in the foot.” See Rifle Grenade Accident + Heninel Trench 23rd April 1917 + Military Cross Awards

Mark Jackson

Sgt. Mark Jackson MEN

Sgt. Mark Jackson MEN 17/7/1916. Courtesy SWARM

“Looking around for Triangle Point.  I was told that Sergt. M.J. (Mark Jackson) had just been sniped – hit in the head, I believe.”

Robert Forbes Mansergh

2nd Lt Robert Mansergh

2nd Lt Robert Mansergh

“If we had any bombing lessons in England, prior to departure to France in November, 1915, I cannot recall them.  In the first lesson in France each man of the platoon – I don’t think we were selected- threw one live bomb.  We threw them from inside a trench (bounded by the traverse).  Over the top to a cleared space.  One of us, on pulling out the pin, let the spring force him to leave go of the bomb, and it dropped in the trench.  “Get round the traverse, quickly” shouted our Platoon Officer, Lieut. M. [Mansergh], at the same time rushing to pick up the bomb and haul it over the parapet.  Five second fuse, but great courage! ” “Perhaps a notch towards an honour later.  In fact, he was awarded the M.C. in September, 1916.” See Military Cross Awards+ Merchiston Castle School

Joseph McMenemy

Steel Helmet The Journal of Private Allan Arthur Bell.  Courtesy Roger Bell

The Steel Helmet – Courtesy Roger Bell

Sgt Joseph McMenemy II & III Pln

Sgt and A/CSM Joseph McMenemy KiA 30/7/16

Thiepval 8730 CSM Joseph McMenmey

“It had a leather frame inside, and was issued to all of us some weeks before the big advance on 1st July, 1916. A few days after the initial advance I took my helmet to the Company QMS for renewal as it had a hole in it made by a bullet, which had caused it to roll up like the petal of a flower.

Sergt. McM (McMenemy) encouraged us on the last lap…; he had been a heroic figure in the advance on the first.  “Only another rush or two” he called as we lay, much cut up, just outside the perimeter at Montauban –practically all our officers picked out by snipers.  So on we went past the white flags, Jerry machine gunners and all.  Of cause, there were many more still, both killed and wounded – Jerry machine guns and snipers doing their damned work…

Anyhow, he gave me a new hat.”
See Over the Top  + Guillemont

Ralph Marillier Miller

ralph-miller-from-his-niece-sue-butcherglenalmond-chronicle-october-1916-r-m-miller-obituary-entry-courtesy-glenalmond-college

Ralph Miller saving CSM Johnson at Trones Wood - Courtesy Bell Family

Rescue of CSM Johnson.

Glenalmond Chronicle, October 1916.R M Miller Obituary  Summary Courtesy Glenalmond College

Ralph Miller Obituary

“The alphabet now brings us to Volunteers.  “Who will volunteer to bring back Sergt. Major “J” (8196 Johnson) – this was Lieut. Jockey M. (Miller) outside Trones Wood one day.  How many hands out of about twenty men?  Not one.  Is there anyone here in my platoon?  One hand – mine.  Right, so we set off along the trenches.  He has the revolver at the ready, and I have the stretcher.  There’s not too much shelling from either side, quite a number of German soldiers offering no resistance –perhaps hoping we would take them back with us.  The Lieutenant must have known where to look, for we got to the Sergt. Major without much trouble.  He was quite unconscious, hit in the face an elsewhere.  Nearby were some South African soldiers and one of them volunteered to help to carry the S.M. back to our lines.  He – the S.M – was a very heavy man.  My puttees provided a means of taking some of the weight from the hands to the shoulders.  We went back over the top via the Briqueterie and the Sunken Road.  The Jerry gunners were dropping two or three a minute at one point there.  My ears rang more than a bit, I’ll say.  By and by we got to a field ambulance, and Lieut. M. (Miller) was congratulated on his good work – the acting Colonel was there, I think.” See Anniversary 29th/30th July 1916 + Anniversary 10th July 1916

“Brave Jockey!  Not many days after that came the report that he had got a gas shell ‘all to himself’ – killed of course.  Would he have been one of Shakespeare’s  ‘Even in the cannon’s mouth men’?”

Ruben Schofield

“Our lot were under canvas, and we were told what heart-breaking roll-calls there had been.  One particular man in our platoon had lost the younger brother whom he had been at great pains to have transferred from another battalion.” See Remembering 9519 Private Ruben Schofield

Centenary of the Somme – Six Pointed Star

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute

On the 6th Day we view a six pointed Star

The Star of David has caught my attention at visits to British and German War Cemeteries.  I’ve taken particular interest in Maurice Sugarman and the Kohnstamm Brothers.  Using the Jewry Roll of Honour I’ve started building a record of men who served in the . Manchester Regiment Jewry Roll.

I have heard that the Jewish grave markers at Fricourt German Cemetery were removed by Nazi troops in WWII.  Lest we forget such actions.

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Centenary of the Somme – 5 Hundred Rounds per Minute

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban

On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute

The Lewis and Vickers Machine Guns carried by men of 90th Company, Machine Gun Corps had a tremendous rate of fire.  I came across a Blog post showing letters from Captain Grundy – July 27th 1916 | The Skipper’s War  – and used this to build a wider perspective on their involvement at Montauban.  Latterly, I’m in contact with a relative of Captain Grundy and hope to dedicate the next update of Machine Gun Corps at Montauban to Captain Grundy’s daughter.  It seems quite possible her father helped save Arthur Bell’s life, when he retired from Triangle Point at dawn on 2nd July 1916.

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