World War I centenary
World War I Centenary, The Battle of the Somme
The First Battle of the Somme started, after a ferocious, but ineffectual, British bombardment of the German lines, on 1 July 1916. On that appalling day alone, there were 57,470 British casualties, of which 19,240 were fatalities - the worst day in the history of the British Army.
The battle raged on until 18 November 1916, as winter set in, by which time British losses had reached nearly half a million killed, wounded or missing.
Many Old Warwickians took part in the First Battle of the Somme, and we know of at least 18 who lost their lives. It is fitting, therefore, to remember those below, of whom seven have no known grave:
2nd Lt Raymond Holcroft, 9th Btn Devonshire Regt., died 1 July 1916, aged 20.
2nd Lt Leon Sharp, Lincolnshire Regt., died 1 July 1916, aged 22.
2nd Lt Gilbert Foss, Border Regt., died 3 July 1916, aged approx 20.
Maj George Higgins, The King’s Liverpool Regt,. died 10 July 1916, aged 36.
2nd Lt Edward Ward, South Staffordshire Regt., died 15 July 1916, aged 20.
Pte Thomas Butler, Royal Warwickshire Regt., died 30 July 1916, aged 20.
2nd Lt Richard Hart, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 30 July 1916, aged 24.
Pte Arthur Jephcott, Australian Infantry, died 4 Aug 1916, aged 26.
Sgt William Hutton, Australian Infantry, died 24 Aug 1916, aged 25.
Pte Frank Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 25 Aug 1916, aged 26.
Capt Arthur Godfrey-Payton, Royal Warwickshire Regt., died 29 Aug 1916, aged 27.
Maj Harry Bromfield, Welsh Guards, DSO (Distinguished Service Order), died 10 Sept 1916, aged 47.
Lt Cyril Baly, The Buffs (East Kent Regt.), died 15 Sept 1916, aged 19.
2nd Lt John Bennett, Royal Warwickshire Regt., MM (Military Medal), died 15 Sept 1916, aged 26.
Cpl William Davies, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 26 Sept 1916, aged 23.
Pte Albert Mann, Canadian Infantry, died 27 Sept 1916, aged 32.
Capt Arthur Addenbrooke, Royal Warwickshire Regt., died 5 Oct 1916, aged 34.
LCpl Robert Dudley, Royal Fusiliers, died 7 Oct 1916, aged 35.