100 Years ago today – WW1 The Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme, one of World War One’s bloodiest battles, began on 1 July 1916, 100 years ago today.

More than a million men were killed and wounded on all sides in the five month battle, with the British suffering almost 60,000 casualties on the first day alone.

On 3 August 1916, Corporal Reginald Salmon – who survived the battle – wrote,

“The remarkable strategical structure & position of the German trenches quite impressed me. I went into a few of their famous dugouts… one was 30 steps down & then there was another flight leading to a room beneath the first one. I could not stand the abominable stench that came from them.

“It was an interesting experience, but I am not keen on going there again for there are blooming awful sights horrid in the extreme.”

General Haig ended the British offensive on 18 November 1916. The allies had advanced a total of just five miles. The war remained at a stalemate.

Third Time Unlucky – The World War One Story of Reginald Salmon

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