Pals on the Somme covers the history of all the Pals Battalions who fought on the Somme during the First World War. The book looks at the events which led to the war and how the ‘Pals’ phenomenon was born. It considers the attitude and social conditions in Britain at the time. It covers the training and equipping of the Battalions, the preparations for the ‘Big Push’, 1st July 1916, and going over the top, and how each battalion fared, failed or succeeded. It looks at how they Battalions had to undergo a change after the 1st July, due to the heavy casualties, and the final victory in 1918, and how the battalions were eventually amalgamated. The final chapter examines how each area coped in the aftermath of losing their men in the three year slaughter. It covers the organizations and visits to the Battlefields as they are today.
Salford was late in recruiting for its Pals battalions, with many of its men already joining Territorial units and a new Pals battalion in Manchester. Yet within a year it had raised four Pals battalions and a reserve battalion. Raised mainly from Lancashires most notorious slums, the men trained together in Wales, North East England and on Salisbury Plain, they had great expectations of success. On the 1st of July 1916 the Somme offensive was launched and in the very epicenter of that cauldron the first three of Salfords battalions were thrown at the massive defenses of Thiepval - the men were decimated, Salford was shattered. Michael Stedman records the impact of the war from the start on Salford and follows the difficulties and triumphs. Whether the actions small or great the author writes graphically about them all. Unusual photographs and a variety of sources make this both a readable and a scholarly account.
This is a guidebook with a difference. It is not a list of memorials and cemeteries. Its aim is to provide the reader with an understanding of the Battle of the Somme. There were some partial successes; there were many disastrous failures. In 17 concise chapters dealing with different areas of the battlefield and various aspects of strategy, this book explains what happened in each location and why. Each chapter is accompanied by color photographs, taken by the authors in the course of many visits to the Somme, which will illustrate, illuminate and allow the reader to understand important points made in the text. It doesn`t matter whether you are in your armchair, on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car, this book will effortlessly transport you to the battlefield and will sweep you round the front line of 1 July 1916. From Montauban in the south, to Serre in the north, it will lead you to the night attack of 14 July and to the first use of tanks on 15 September. It will take you to the Pozières Ridge and to Mouquet Farm, and to the heights above the Ancre. You will visit the famous Sunken Lane near Beaumont Hamel, where the text will transport you in time to stand with men from the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers waiting to go over the top on 1 July 1916. You will look towards Hawthorn Mine Crater and almost feel the earth tremble beneath your feet as though you were there at 07.20 hrs. on 1 July 1916. You will go into Beaumont Hamel with the 51st (Highland) Division and climb up Wagon Road. You will look across to where Frankfurt Trench once was, and where men from the 16th Highland Light Infantry from Glasgow fought a last ditch battle, having become marooned in the trench, in what was the last action to take place before the Somme finally petered out in the mud in late November 1916. With its focus on informing and illuminating the events of 1916 on the Somme, and illustrated throughout by carefully annotated color photographs showing the sites today, this book will prove equally essential to the battlefield visitor or the 'virtual visitor' in their armchair.
The Somme is the epicentre for most people in the study of the First World War from a UK and Commonwealth perspective. Today the landscape and terrain are dedicated to the soldiers that fought and died there and Major and Mrs Holt's Pocket Guide to the Somme has been put together to take you around the area. This book, part of a new series of guides, is designed conveniently in a small size, for those who have only limited time to visit, or who are simply interested in as an introduction to the historic battlefields, whether on the ground or from an armchair. They contain selections from the Holts' more detailed guides of the most popular and accessible sites plus handy tourist information, capturing the essential features of the Battles. The book contains many full colour maps and photographs and detailed instructions on what to see and where to visit.
The Battle of the Somme is widely regarded as one of the bloodiest and most controversial land battles ever fought. The first British troops went over the top on 1 July 1916 and by the day's end some 19,000 had been killed in the greatest one-day loss the British Army has ever known. This notoriety has ensured that the Somme and its many fallen warriors live on in countless books, plays and films. Documentary sources about the Somme abound and there is a voracious appetite among the book-buying public for more. Legacy of the Somme 1916 is a unique bibliographical and media guide to the battle, setting on record - in as comprehensive a listing as is possible - much of what has been written, filmed or sound-recorded in the English language between 1916 and 1995. This detailed listing includes official, unofficial and unit histories of the British and Commonwealth armies; biographies, autobiographies and memoirs; literature, drama and media; archives, tanks and war graves registers. Short commentaries accompany each entry and a detailed index enables accurate cross-referencing of subjects. First and foremost this is a unique work of reference which will appeal to all with an interest in the First World War. It will aid historians, researchers and enthusiasts to track down the vast amount of information available on the battle, and will also prove valuable to libraries, museums and the book trade.
Follow the footsteps of the Pals in their journey from Lancashire to their training camps in England and Wales and to the villages and battlefields of France. A comprehensive account, with maps and pictures, of a Pals Battalion's service throughout the war.
This book, following a weekend on the Somme with Mary Freeman as she visits the old front line and back areas, is about the soldiers who wrote poetry and those with whom they lived, fought and, in many cases died. It takes the reader to to the places where they saw action and to the cemeteries and memorials where those who did not survive, rest or are commemorated. Her uncanny knowledge of the battlefields and her deep understanding of poetry, brings to life the men who shared hardship and horror together, men who experience comradeship forged in conditions that are beyond comprehension today, men with normal desires and aspirations who happened to be wearing uniform and some who chose to express themselves through the medium of poetry.
For the Somme offensive British Fourth Army headquarters was situated in a chateau at Querrieu on the Albert-Amiens road. In the build up months to Haig's Great Push a steady flow of intelligence was being compiled; captured German documents, intercepted messages, prisoners' letters, diaries and information gleaned from prisoner interviews were entered into foolscap-size ledgers where they could be perused by the planners.The hand-written journal of intelligence reports upon which this work is formed was originally compiled by a former soldier of the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, (Accrington Pals), Harry Platt of Burnley. In 1916 he was a sergeant working on intelligence duties at Fourth Army GHQ. He was later commissioned in the Royal Engineers. Harry also served in the Second World War in the Royal Artillery reaching the rank of Major. He was Mentioned in Despatches in both conflicts. Harry died in August 1951 aged 56.In 2002 the handwritten journal was lodged with the Imperial War Museum at the instigation of historian William Turner, military historian and author of books on the Accrington Pals.As the reader goes through these reports it would be helpful to keep in mind that members of the British staff at Querrieu chateau, including Generals Haig and Rawlinson, would have had their impressions coloured by the words you are reading and doubtless their optimism for a successful outcome to the Somme offensive greatly enhanced. They would have noted the effect the British bombardment was having; dominance of the Royal Flying Corps as its machines seemingly operated unmolested over the trenches; growing unrest in German cities as food shortages drove the populace to riot; and the relentless call-up to the colours of ever-younger youths as that nation's manhood bled in the great battles taking place.
Peter Simkins has established a reputation over the last forty years as one of the most original and stimulating historians of the First World War. He has made a major contribution to the debate about the performance of the British Army on the Western Front. This collection of his most perceptive and challenging essays, which concentrates on British operations in France between 1916 and 1918, shows that this reputation is richly deserved. He focuses on key aspects of the army's performance in battle, from the first day of the Somme to the Hundred Days, and gives a fascinating insight into the developing theory and practice of the army as it struggled to find a way to break through the German line. His rigorous analysis undermines some of the common assumptions - and the myths - that still cling to the history of these British battles.
In the 1920s there were over a million coalminers working in over 3000 collieries across Great Britain, and the industry was one of the most important and powerful in British history. It dominated the lives of generations of individuals, their families and communities, and its legacy is still with us today many of us have a coalmining ancestor. Yet family historians often have problems in researching their mining forebears. Locating the relevant records, finding the sites of the pits, and understanding the work involved and its historical background can be perplexing. That is why Brian Elliott's concise, authoritative and practical handbook will be so useful, for it guides researchers through these obstacles and opens up the broad range of sources they can go to in order to get a vivid insight into the lives and experiences of coalminers in the past. His overview of the coalmining history and the case studies and research tips he provides will make his book rewarding reading for anyone looking for a general introduction to this major aspect of Britain's industrial heritage. His directory of regional and national sources and his commentary on them will make this guide an essential tool for family historians searching for an ancestor who worked in coalmining underground, on the pit top or just lived in a mining community.As featured in Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine and the Barnsley Chronicle.
Aiming to provide challenge and stimulus for more able pupils, the "Headstart in History" books have high narrative content; extended writing opportunities and suggestions for further research; and links to websites, videos and historical fiction.
In the early days of the First World War two volunteer Pals Battalions were raised in Bradford and this is their remarkable story. David Raw's account is based on memoirs, letters, diaries, contemporary newspaper reports, official records and archives, and it is illustrated with many maps and previously unpublished photographs. He recaptures the heroism and stoical humour displayed by the Bradford Pals in the face of often terrible experiences, but he also recounts the tragedy, pain, suffering and grief that was the dark side of war.
From one of our most distinguished historians, an authoritative and vivid account of the devastating World War I battle that claimed more than 300,000 lives At 7:30 am on July 1, 1916, the first Allied soldiers climbed out of their trenches along the Somme River in France and charged out into no-man's-land toward the barbed wire and machine guns at the German front lines. By the end of this first day of the Allied attack, the British army alone would lose 20,000 men; in the coming months, the fifteen-mile-long territory along the river would erupt into the epicenter of the Great War. The Somme would mark a turning point in both the war and military history, as soldiers saw the first appearance of tanks on the battlefield, the emergence of the air war as a devastating and decisive factor in battle, and more than one million casualties (among them a young Adolf Hitler, who took a fragment in the leg). In just 138 days, 310,000 men died. In this vivid, deeply researched account of one history's most destructive battles, historian Martin Gilbert tracks the Battle of the Somme through the experiences of footsoldiers (known to the British as the PBI, for Poor Bloody Infantry), generals, and everyone in between. Interwoven with photographs, journal entries, original maps, and documents from every stage and level of planning, The Somme is the most authoritative and affecting account of this bloody turning point in the Great War.
For many British visitors, the fighting in the Somme starts on 1 July 1916 and few consider what happened in the area before the British took over the line, part in later 1915 and some in 1916. In fact there was extensive fighting during the opening phase of he war, as both the French and Germans tried to outflank each other. Through the autumn and winter there was a struggle to hold the best tactical ground, with small scale but ferocious skirmishes from Beaumont Hamel to the Somme. The conflict in what became known as the Glory Hole, close to the well known Lochnagar Crater, was particularly prolonged. Evidence of the fighting, mainly in the form of a large mine crater field, is visible today. The underground war was not confined to la Boisselle, with a similar crater field developing on Redan Ridge; whilst south of the Somme, to be covered in a future volume, great lengths of No Man's Land were dominated by mine craters. Serre, best known to British readers for its association with the Pals Battalions on 1 July 1916, witnessed a significant, if local, French offensive in June 1915, with casualties running into the several thousands. It is a battle that has left its mark on the landscape today, with a French national cemetery and a commemorative chapel acting as memorials to the battle. The book is introduced by a chapter describing the role of the area in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, a war which arguably provided the seed bed for the outbreak of war in 1914. Several battles were fought in Somme villages that were to become the victims of war all over again forty plus years later.
Looks at how the phenomenon of the Somme has been scorched into the national heritage but with a distortion produced by the literary legacy. The book examines the concept and planning of the battle, what it was like to serve in the battle. It takes issue with the judgement of many historians.
Dramatic, illustrated account of the biggest naval battle of the First World War. On 31 May, 1916, the great battle fleets of Britain and Germany met off Jutland in the North Sea. It was a climactic encounter, the culmination of a fantastically expensive naval race between the two countries, and expectations on both sides were high. For the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, there was the chance to win another Trafalgar. For the German High Seas Fleet, there was the opportunity to break the British blockade and so change the course of the war. But Jutland was a confused and controversial encounter. Tactically, it was a draw; strategically, it was a British victory. Naval historians have pored over the minutiae of Jutland ever since. Yet they have largely ignored what the battle was actually like for its thousands of participants. Full of drama and pathos, of chaos and courage, JUTLAND, 1916 describes the sea battle in the dreadnought era from the point of view of those who were there.