July 1, 1916 —The Battle of the Somme began on the Western Front.

July 1, 1916 —The Battle of the Somme began on the Western Front.

The opening day of the battle saw the British Army suffer the worst single—day death toll in its history: of the nearly 60,000 British casualties that day, 18,800 soldiers were killed. Nine Victoria Crosses (six posthumously) were awarded on the first day of the battle.

July 2, 1916 — British troops began their attack south of the road between Albert and Bapaume. The attack to recapture Montauban from the British by the German commander, General von Below, failed and the German Army withdrew from the Flaucourt Plateau.

July 3, 1916 — After fierce righting British troops successfully recaptured parts of La Boiselle but failed to gain ground at Ovillers
and Thiepval. The French Sixth Army moved across the Flaucourt Plateau and reached the village of Flaucourt. The Germans began to switch resources from the offensive at Verdun to defend the Somme.

July 4, 1916 — Heavy thunderstorms resulted in the first signs of the infamous Somme mud and impeded progress as British soldiers  continued their advance in La Boiselle. French troops took Belloy—en— Santerre and Feullieres.

July 5, 1916 — Hem, a first-day objective for the French Army, was captured by the XX Corp. It was taken over by British troops later
in the year.

13 july 1916

July 6, 1916 — In a counter-attack, German troops almost succeeded in retaking Hem on the night of 6~7 July.

July 7, 1916 — German troops held back a British assault on Mametz Wood, seen as a vital obiective in protecting the British right flank.
David Lloyd George succeeded the late Lord Kitchener as British Secretary of State for War.

July 8, 1916 —The British capture of Trones Wood, another vital objective, was short—Iived as a German counter—attack drove them out.

July 9, 1916 – The British Liberal politician Edwin Samuel Montagu was appointed Minister of Munitions in Great Britain.

July 10, 1916 ~ By the evening, the French Sixth Army had pierced the German third line opposite Peronne at La Maisonette and Biaches.

JuIy 11, 1916 —The British began a bombardment of the German second line around Bazentin-le-Grand in preparation for an infantry attack on the ridge

July 13, 1916 – British troops captured Mametz Wood and Contalmaison and broke through the German line at Bazentin Ridge, but the success of the latter was temporary as they were pushed back,

July 14, 1916 -The Battle of Bazentin Ridge began, launching the second phase of the Somme Offensive. Longueval Ridge was captured, along with Trones Wood. British forces cleared Mametz Wood, four-and-a-half km past the German lines.

July 15, 1916 – A subsidiary attack, the Battle of Delville Wood, began when South African troops attempted to clear the woods of German forces.The attack was prolonged and continued through the summer into September.

July 17, 1916 —The Battle of Bazentin Ridge ended in a tactical British victory, with the capture of the German second line over a front of nearly 5.5km.

8th LeicestershireJuly 18, 1916 — Delville Wood was temporarily captured by the South African Infantry.

July 19, 1916 — The Battle of Fromelles, a combined operation by British and Australian troops designed to divert attention from the main battle, began.

July 20, 1916 — The Battle of Fromelles ended with a decisive German victory and the cost of more than 5,000 Australian casualties,

July 23, 1916 — The Battle of Pozieres began. The French village, sitting on a ridge overlooking the Somme, was a vital objective for the Allies, and although the Australian and British Divisions succeeded in capturing most of it on the first day, there followed a two—week struggle to maintain their position in the village and on the surrounding ridge. The Germans made three unsuccessful attempts to retake the position on the first day.

July 24, 1916 — Australian troops captured the remaining part of Pozieres as the British repelled a German counter attack at High Wood and Guillemont. By doing so, the Allies had been able, over a two~day period, to advance more than three miles along a six mile stretch of the front.

July 25, 1916 — As the Australians cleared the remaining German troops from Pozieres, ajoint Anglo—French attack was agreed by Haig, Foch, Rawlinson and Fayolle for 30 July.

July 26, 1916 — At Pozieres, Australian troops responded to heavy shelling from the Germans with a counter-barrage. Believing the Anzacs were about to attack, the German bombardment increased, resulting in heavy Australian casualties and the further destruction of the village, which by the end of the battle had been razed to the ground.
July 27, 1916 – At Deville wood and Longueval, British troops shelled enemy positions. Outgunned and exhausted, a substantial number of German troops surrendered.

July 28, 1916 — British troops captured Delville Wood and Longueval village and progressed towards Pozieres.
July 30, 1916 —The first combined Franco—British aerial operations took place on the Western Front.

July 31, 1916 — Private James Miller earned his posthumous VC at Bazentin-le Petit on the night of 30-31 July when he
ran a vital and urgent message from the trenches back to those orchestrating the battle. Despite being struck by a bullet
almost immediately, he delivered the communication and returned with a reply before collapsing and dying.

Trophies of War

By Fred Hartshorn

Retired Engineer but now am a Therapeutic Counselor and charity volunteer. Ex DJ. MBACP, BSc(Hon), DipComp, DipCoun. Interested in books, computing, family and local history. Budding artist. and Musician.

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