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Old Warwickians

World War I centenary

Infantry attack on the Somme c. IWMWorld 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 a total of 18 lost their lives between July and November 1916.  It is fitting, therefore, to remember them, of whom many have no known grave:

  • Captain Arthur Addenbrooke, Royal Warwickshire Regt., died 5 Oct 1916, aged 34.
  • 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.
  • Major Harry Bromfield, Welsh Guards, DSO (Distinguished Service Order), died 10 Sept 1916, aged 47.
  • Private Thomas Butler, Royal Warwickshire Regt., died 30 July 1916, aged 20.
  •  Corporal William Davies, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 26th September 1916, aged 23.
  • Lance Corporal Robert Dudley, Royal Fusiliers, died 7 Oct 1916, aged 35.
  • 2nd Lt Gilbert Foss, Border Regt., died 3 July 1916, aged approximately 20. 
  • Captain Arthur Godfrey-Payton, Royal Warwickshire Regt., died 29 Aug 1916, aged 27.
  • 2nd Lt Richard Hart, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 30th July 1916, aged 24.
  • Major George Higgins, The King’s Liverpool Regiment, died 10th July 1916, aged 36.
  • 2nd Lt Raymond Holcroft, 9th Btn Devonshire Regiment, died 1st July 1916, aged 20.
  • Sgt William Hutton, Australian Infantry, died 24 Aug 1916, aged 25. 
  • Private Arthur Jephcott, Australian Infantry, died 4 Aug 1916, aged 26.
  • Private Albert Mann, Canadian Infantry, died 27 Sept 1916, aged 32.
  • 2nd Lt Leon Sharp, Lincolnshire Regt, died 1 July 1916, aged 22.
  • Private Frank Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 25th August 1916, aged 26.
  • 2nd Lt Edward Ward, South Staffordshire Regt., died 15 July 1916, aged 20.

Gervald Frykman
Warwick School Archivist