London 1746 Rocques map
You can search the London and Pub history sites by name, address OR street names

London County Council - The Western Front, 1916.

The L.C.C. record of the Great War 1914 - 1919

Western Front, 1916.

In December, 1915, Sir John French returned to England, and on the 19th of the month Sir Douglas Haig was appointed commander-in-chief of the British forces. During the winter the British took over from the French the sector from Lens to Arras, so that in the early part of 1916 the line held by them started north of Ypres, passed near Armentieres, Bethune, Lens and Arras and reached practically to the river Somme. The length was about 90 miles, out of a total length from the North Sea to Switzerland of about 350 miles, and for its defence in July 660,000 infantry and cavalry were available. In addition there were great numbers of artillery as well as of units, near the front and at the various bases, dealing with health services, supply, transport, etc.
The first serious operation in 1916 in the British sector was the capture by the Germans on 14th February, after a heavy bombardment and the explosion of several mines, of the Bluff, a low bank on the Comines canal nearly three miles S.S.E. from Ypres. Like Hill 60, about one mile to the north, it conferred upon the side holding it facilities for observation and so was the scene of fierce fighting. In fact one trench changed hands so frequently that it gained the name of " International Trench." A British counter-attack in a rain-storm on the night of the I5th/i6th failed, but in another attack just before dawn on 2nd March not only the lost ground but an additional area was captured.
At St. Eloi, a mile or more to the west, the positions were reversed. On 27th March six mines were exploded under the German trenches, portions of which were seized. The consolidation of the new position proved difficult and, after numerous bombardments and counter-attacks during the next four weeks, our men withdrew on 27th April to the line held before the operations began.
Of the remaining operations the most notable were the fighting, chiefly by the 12th Division, in the Loos salient in April and May, a German attack at the Vimy Ridge near Souchez in the middle of May, and a German attack near Hooge and Zouave and Sanctuary Woods early in June. The last two were undertaken in the hope that troops and munitions would be diverted to the threatened points, and that the preparations, then well advanced, for the Battle of the Somme would be impeded. To prevent this no effort was made to recover the ground lost near Souchez, and at Hooge only the area essential for the safety of the line was attacked and captured.

In these or in similar engagements the casualties mentioned below occurred during the first half of 1916. On 6th January H. E. L. White (9th Rifle Brigade, Tram.) was killed near Ypres, on the 11th J. G. J. Waite (7th Kings Royal Rifles, Tram.) probably in the same neighbourhood, and S. A. Parkington (15th R. Welch Fusiliers, Tram.) near Richebourg, and on the 21st Sergeant E. W. Lord (8th Glouc, Educ). On 27th January Corporal James Skeggs (9th R. Fusiliers, Tram.) died at Netley Hospital of wounds received on 4th November, 1915. Lieut. E. T. Morgan (15th R. Welch Fusiliers, Educ.) died at Merville on 7th February of wounds received near Richebourg two days before, Lance-Corp. A. G. Rose (15th London, Educ.) on the 12th, and J. A. Braybrooke (18th Middx., Tram.) near Cambrin on the 29th. G. E. Rolfe (11th Middx., Tram.) died at Abbeville on 16th March of wounds received on the 5th, G. H. Downie (5th Drag. Guards, Asylums) on the 16th, Lance-Corp. George Wright (1st Middx., Tram.) near Cambrin on the 18th, Cecil Hodgkinson (R.E., Tram.) at Aveluy near Albert on the 25th, and H. G. Ashdown (4th R. Fusiliers, Parks) on the 27th. P. T. Ketcher (20th London, Educ.) died at Camiers near Boulogne on the 29th of wounds received on the 20th. In April H. M. F. Quick (9th R. Fusiliers, Tram.) was killed near Loos on the 5th, A. W. Roberts (5th Wilts, Tram.) on the 8th, W. A. ButHn (6th R. Berks, Tram.) near Albert on the 19th, Lance-Corp. James Smythe (R.W. Surr., Tram.) near Vermelles on the 20th, and Sergeant Frank Sturtridge (6th London, Educ.) near Vimy on the 30th. Capt. P. E. Fairley, D.C.M. (18th London, Educ.) wounded on 6th April lingered on until 4th February, 1919, when he died in hospital in Co. Armagh. Lieut. B. R. Baker (17th R. Fusiliers, Educ.) was killed near Bully Grenay on 3rd May, Sergeant Mark Cutler (2nd Gren. Guards, Tram.) probably near St. Jean on the 6th, William Swainsbury (R.F.A., Parks) near Arras on the 7th and A. F. Canivet, B-es-L., B-es-Sc, (French Army, Educ.) on the 31st. Sergeant E. C. Laver (R.F.A., Tram.), wounded near Arras on 11th March, died in England on 19th June. Michael DooHn (2nd R. Munster Fusiliers, Tram.) was killed on 25th June in a raid on the enemy's trenches south of Hulluch, Sergeant E. J. Perry (7th Middx., Educ.) near Hebuteme on the 26th, and Lieut. P. F. Gethin (8th Devons, Educ.) near Mametz on the 28th. Lieut. L. H. Kenny (8th Suff., Educ.) was missing after a trench raid on the night of 26th/27th June. Sergeant V. M. Elliott (2/4th Oxf. and Bucks L.L, Educ.) died at Merville on 1st July of wounds received in a raid on the enemy's trenches near Laventie.

Sergeant R. W. Braham (R.F.A., Educ.) was awarded the M.M. for gallantry during April at Vimy Ridge and Co. Sergeant -Maj. C. W. Froome (16th London, Educ.) the D.C.M. on 2nd June, the details not being known. Sergeant A. Prentice and Corporals A. E. Brereton and W. H. Nash, all of the Oxf. and Bucks L.L and Education, received the M.M., the first named for rescuing a wounded comrade, and the others for various acts of gallantry during a trench raid in front of Laventie on 29th June.

Vimy Ridge.
The fighting on Vimy Ridge to the south of Souchez in May, 1916, when many of the Council's staff were killed, was briefly as follows. At evening on 15th May the British exploded several mines in No Man's Land and the craters were occupied by troops from the 25th Division. On the 21st the Germans heavily bombarded the position, and during the night of the 2 1st /22nd, while the 47th Division was relieving the 25th, they captured the craters and even parts of our trench system in rear. As already stated, it was not thought worth while to drive them out. The casualties included Sergeant Arthur Favell (21st London, Educ.) killed on the 18th, Sergeant T. P. Chick (15th London, Comp.), H. W. Babington (15th London, Educ), A. H. Russell (15th London, Arch.) and J. A. Wynne (15th London, Educ.) on the 22nd, Sergeant L. S. Duck (21st London, Solr.), Lance-Corp. Albert Burgess (21st London, Pub. Cont.) and Sergeant S. E. Hill, B.Sc, (20th London, Educ.) on the 23rd, and Corp. Ebenezer Kirby (R.F.A., Tram.) on the 24th. Lance-Corp. L. J. Mayer (20th London, Pub. Cont.) died at Abbeville on the 31st of wounds received on the 21st, and on 3rd June Lieut. L. T. Taylor (8th Loyal N. Lanes., Educ.) died at Aubigny of wounds received on 21st May.

Battle of the Somme, 1916.
Since February, Verdun, an important point in the French line of defence, had been furiously assaulted but, although the defence severely taxed the French resources, the Germans, even at the cost of more than 300,000 casualties, achieved no definite result. To relieve the pressure and also to prevent the transfer of German troops to the Italian or Russian fronts an offensive by the French and British was planned at the junction of the two armies in the valley of the Somme.
Modern armies consume such great quantities of supplies that even in stationary warfare very careful arrangements have to be made to maintain them; during an offensive their needs are increased out of all proportion. For the Battle of the Somme vast stocks of ammunition and stores had to be accumulated, and on the British front alone many miles of new railways were constructed, more than 120 miles of water mains were laid, new roads and bridges were built and old ones were improved. In addition many miles of communication trenches, assembly trenches, assault trenches and trenches for telephone wires had to be dug.

The country from Ypres to Loos, formerly part of the province of Flanders, which witnessed the British conflicts at the end of 1914 and throughout 1915 is not unlike certain portions of the eastern districts of England. It is flat or gently undulating, and divided into fields by ditches, small streams and high hedges, with many farms dotted about. The country to the south, the scene of new and greater conflicts, is a rolling, chalk country, for the most part waterless, which rises steadily to heights of 500 feet or more. It is quite open, except for woods on many of the hill-crests, and the farms are grouped into small compact villages situated every mile or so at road junctions. In such country the defenders have good observation and good fields of fire, while the attackers, even if they find it difficult or impossible to obtain cover, are able, in ordinary weather and under ordinary conditions, to move their infantry freely in any direction.

The position to be attacked by the British was the high land running north-westward from the Somme to St. Pierre Divion, where it was cut by the valley of the Ancre, and then northward to Gommecourt. The German first system of trenches was on the forward, that is the southern and western, slopes, their second on the hill-crests 3,000 to 5,000 yards in rear, and still farther back there were the elements of a third line.
The first two lines were exceptionally strong. The chalk soil enabled dug-outs to be prepared at a depth which made them practically safe from bombardment, the villages and woods had been turned into fortresses, the trenches were protected by belts, forty feet wide or more, of barbed wire often as thick as a man's finger.
The battle is usually regarded in three phases, the first from ist to 17th July when a footing was gained on the hill-crest between Delville Wood and Bazentin-le-Petit (see plan on p. 36), the second from 17th July to the first week of September when violent counter-attacks were beaten off and our position on the whole of the high land was made good, and the third from September to November when an advance was made down the further, that is the eastern and northern, slopes, and our gains were extended on both

First Phase, 1st/17th July.
From 24th June the enemy's line from Maricourt to Gommecourt, a distance of twenty miles, was bombarded almost continuously, and gas was discharged at frequent intervals. At 7.30 a.m. on 1st July, a calm summer day, after a short final bombardment of exceptional violence accompanied by the discharge of smoke and the explosion of many mines, the attack was launched. Counting from the right, the 30th, 18th and 7th Divisions were successful at Montauban and Mametz, a distance of about five miles, and the 21st, 34th and 8th were partially successful at Fricourt, La Boisselle and Ovillers. On the left, in spite of initial successes, the 32nd and 36th failed near Thiepval, the 29th and the 4th near Beaumont Hamel, the 31st at Serre and the 56th and 46th near Gommecourt. One cause of the failure was that the Germans expected that the main attack would be in this sector and consequently they had greatly strengthened their defences and had brought up large numbers of guns.
Even as it was, our men at Thiepval, Serre, Gomme-court, and elsewhere reached points to which British troops did not penetrate again until after several months of weary fighting. These scattered groups, cut off from their supports and supplies by a heavy barrage, were attacked in rear by parties of the enemy who, by withdrawing to positions of safety, had escaped our bombardments. It is not surprising that, out-numbered and short of ammunition and bombs, they had to withdraw, and that few of them regained their own lines in safety.
In spite of heavy counter-attacks the success on the right was exploited and during the next few days Fricourt, Bernafay and Caterpillar Woods and La Boisselle fell. About the 5th the weather broke and to the horrors of the battle were added the misery and discomfort of heavy rain. Contalmaison and Mametz Wood were captured on 10th July and, as some progress had been made at Trones Wood on the right and Ovillers on the left, a general attack on the enemy's second line was possible.

Accordingly on the night of 13th /14th July our troops advanced nearly a mile and in the darkness took up position unobserved just below the crest. At 3.25 on the morning of the 14th, when there was only sufficient light to distinguish friend from foe, the attack opened. Trones Wood was captured by the 18th Division, Longueval by the 9th, the Bazentins by the 3rd and 7th, and ground to the west of Bazentin-le-Petit by the 21st, ist and 34th, while some troops even reached High Wood but were ordered to retire. On the 15th Delville Wood ^ and Waterlot Farm to the south were captured, and on the 16th Ovillers, after a heroic resistance for more than two weeks, surrendered.
Capt. (afterwards Major) A. C. Hancock (R.A.M.C, Asylums) received the M.C, for devotion to duty at Montauban when he led a rescue party in the open
under heavy fire and rescued twenty-eight wounded men. Lieut. John Lever (13th R. Fusiliers, Educ.) won the M.C. for conspicuous bravery at Mametz Wood. Major C. C. B. Morris (R.A.S.C, L.F.B.) also won the MC. about this time but details are lacking. The M.M. was awarded to Corp. A. S. Devis (12th M.G.C., Tram.) for rescuing a wounded man, and to Scrgt. J. E. Bailey (1st R. Welch Fusiliers, Asylums) for his gallantry at the capture of Bazentin-le-Petit.

The fighting up to 17th July resulted in the capture of seven miles of the enemy's front system and three of his second, numerous strongly-fortified villages and woods, 54 guns, 82 machine-guns and trench mortars, and over 10,000 prisoners.

These varying successes and failures were of course accompanied by long lists of casualties, and on 1st July alone twenty-three of the Council's staff were killed, namely Sergeant J. E. Simons (8th E. Surr., Tram.) near Montauban, M. W. Bevan (1st Dorsets, L.F.B.) near Albert, Capt. John Foley (25th Northld. Fusiliers, Educ.) near La Boisselle, Lieut. R. M. Stainton (10th York and Lanes, Educ.) near Ovillers, Capt. F. S. Blake (2nd S. Wales BordereiS; Comp.), and Sergeant Douglas Kirkcaldy (1st Borders, Asylums) near Beaumont Hamel, Lieut. F. W. Wareham, Lieut F. B. Freeman and Corporal T. G. Jeynes, all of them 8th R. Warwicks and Education, between Beaumont Hamel and Serre, Lieut. Thomas Moody, B.Sc. (4th London, Educ), Corporal S. A. Ebbetts (5th London, Educ), Alfred Cook (5th London, Educ), V. J. Terrell (5th London, Educ), James Leverington (9th London, Tram.), Lance-Corp. E. W. Hatcher (9th London, Educ), W. G. Rowland (9th London, Compt.), Reginald Shears, A.R.LB.A. (9th London, Arch.), Lance-Corp. H. Williams (14th London, Educ), G. A. C. Moxley (,14th London, Educ), Arthur Alderton (14th London, Asylums), F. M. Sampford (16th London, Tram.), Co. Sergeant-Maj. C. W. Froome, D.C.M. (16th London, Educ.) and Sec. Corp. C. W. Shipton (R.E., Ch. Engr.) at or near Gommecourt.
Capt. H. C. Harris (6th R. W. Rents, Educ.) was killed on the 3rd at Ovillers and S. G. Barnes (9th London, Educ.) died on the 4th of wounds received at Bayencourt to the west of Hebuterne on the 2nd. On the 7th Lieut. E. L. J. Stockdale, B.Sc. (10th Lanc. Fusiliers, Pub. Health) was killed near Contalmaison, and Lieut. A. D. G. Procter (8th R. Fusiliers, Educ), Samuel Lower (8th R. Fusiliers, Tram.), Lance -Corp. Richard Elliott (9th R. Fusiliers, Tram.) and C. H. Edwards (9th R. Fusiliers, Tram.) near Ovillers. Capt. E. A. Haselden (nth W. Yorks, Educ.) died on the 9th of wounds received near Contalmaison on the 4th. On the 10th E. J. Davies (15th R. Welch Fusiliers, Tram.) and Frank Pearce (14th R. Welch Fusiliers, Tram.) were killed, both at Mametz Wood, W. C. Rice (13th Rifle Brigade, Tram.) on the 11th near La Boisselle, and on the 12th Lance-Corp. H. A. Cole (6th Dorsets, Tram.) died of wounds received two days before at Mametz Wood. Mark Humphrey (R.F.A., Tram.) died on the 15th of wounds received on the 14th, probably in this sector. Acting-Quartermaster C. A. W. Walpole (R.F.A., Tram.) was killed on the 15th, and Alfred Ridgewell (1st Middx., Asylums) on the same date near Bazentin-le-Petit. Ernest Davis (10th R Fusiliers, Educ.) died on the 23rd of wounds received near Pozieres on the 15th.

Second Phase, 17th July to 9th September.
By this time the enemy had brought up strong reserves and, as our line formed a pronounced salient, it was almost a question, not whether the position could be improved, but whether even it could be maintained. Longueval and Delville Wood, at the apex of the salient, were under fire from three sides, and during a violent attack on the i8th the Germans captured part of the village and of the wood. As a set off against this we gained a footing in High Wood on the 20th, and advanced on the 23rd along much of the front between Guillemont and Pozieres. On the 25th the last named place fell, and between the 27th and the 29th Delville Wood and Longueval were cleared. Our attacks on Falfemont Farm and Guillemont on 30th July and 8th and 16th August with the object of straightening out the salient all failed, but on the 18th Guillemont station and part of the village were captured, and on 3rd September the whole passed into our hands.
In the meantime our men had fought their way almost step by step towards Mouquet Farm near Thiepval and to the high ground which enabled them to overlook Martinpuich and Courcelette. Following upon a general attack on 3rd September along the line as far north as the Ancre, Falfemont Farm and Leuze Wood were captured on the 5th, and another general attack on the 9th gave us possession of Bouleaux Wood and Ginchy. The two months' fighting from 17th July yielded little more than the two weeks before that date, but the enemy's resistance was now broken and henceforward the advance was comparatively rapid.

Lieut, (afterwards Lt.-Col.) W. Parkes (S. Wales Bord., Educ.) won the M.C. for conspicuous gallantry in action. " He rallied troops which had lost their officers . . . and displayed great coolness and courage. He continued to do fine work till he was severely wounded." Capt. (afterwards Lt.-Col.) C. F. Healey (8th R. Dub. Fusiliers, Educ.) was awarded the M.C. for conspicuous bravery at Ginchy on 9th September.
On the same date Sergeant W. Brawn (London, Educ.) won the D.C.M. when at Leuze Wood he assumed command of three companies, re-organised them and superintended the consolidation of the captured position under very heavy fire for thirty hours. J. H. Counter (1st Devons, Ch. Engr.) won the M.M. for digging out, under heavy shell fire, several of his comrades who had been buried in a dug-out by the explosion of a shell, Lieut. T. E. Cresswell (R.N. Div., Arch.) was awarded the M.C. for conspicuous gallantry in action at Beaucourt on 13th September when, although severely wounded, he continued to lead his men with great courage and determination.

In this fighting the undermentioned members of the staff were killed: Sergeant Percy Walton (R.F.A., Asylums) on the 18th to the west of Fricourt, Lieut. C. J. Fox (1st R.W. Rents, Educ.) and S. V. Scutt (1st R.W. Rents, Tram.), on the 22nd at Longueval, Lieut. W. F. B. Willis (1st D.C.L.L, Educ.) and Sergeant F. C. Lambert (1st D.C.L.L, Asylums) near Delville Wood, and Charles Archer (2nd R. Suss., Educ.) on the 23rd, Corporal George Bull (1st E. Surr., Tram.) on the 26th, D. A. Cole (24th R. Fusiliers, Educ.) on the 27th, Lance-Corp. J. H. Taylor, A.R.I.B.A. (R.A.M.C, Arch.) on the 28th, and Lieut. H. L. Petrie (2nd R.O.S.B., Educ.) on the 30th, all near Longueval, and H. J. Ash (24th R. Fusiliers, Educ.) on the 31st near' Delville Wood. Bombr. Tom Rose (R.F.A., Educ.) died at Rouen on 2nd August of wounds received near Mametz Wood on 19th July. Capt. O. H. Peters, M.B., B.S., D.P.H. (R.A.M.C, Pub. Health) died at Corbie-sur-Somme on 4th August of wounds received in this sector a few days before, and J. B. Owens (9th R. Fusiliers, Tram.) at Boulogne on the 11th of wounds received near Pozieres on the 5th. Sergeant A. E. Bristowe (13th Rifle Brigade, Educ.) was killed on the 7th near Mametz Wood and Sergeant J. H. B. Cope (17th Middx., Educ.) on the 8th, Albert Martin (9th E. Surr., Tram.) on the 12th, Lance-Corp. Sidney Priest (8th Buffs, Tram.) on the 13th and Sergeant F. J. Whiteley (7th Rifle Brigade, Educ.) on the 18th, all near Delville Wood, Herbert Miller (13th Middx., Tram.) on the iSthfnear Guillemont, Lieut. W. H. Bissley (8th R. Berks.,' Educ.) on the 19th near High Wood, A. B. Cope (R.F.A., Comp.) on the 20th at Montauban, C. J. Denly (R.F.A., Educ.) on the 23rd near Mametz Wood, Sergeant W. A. Lowes (R.F.A., Asylums) on the 25th at Bazentin-le-Petit, Sergeant F. C. Pocock (3rd Wore, Tram.) also on the 25th, Henry Crane (9th Rifle Brigade, Parks) on the 29th near Delville Wood, David Haslum (R.F.A., Tram.) on the 31st near Longueval.
On 3rd September Sergeant E. A. Head (Parks), Corporal H. W. Veaser (Parks) and Corporal G. W. J. Holt (Ch. Engr.), all of the 17th Kings Royal Rifles, were killed near Beaumont Hamel, Sergeant G. E. Corkett and P. H. Edwards, both of the 16th Rifle Brigade and Tramways, near Hamel, and Lieut. P. A. Bick (2nd R. Irish Rgt., Arch.) and Sergeant Jacob Robinson (9th E. Surr., Parks) near Ginchy. On the 4th Capt. H. S. Cameron, B.Sc. (Educ.) and Sergeant A. W. Sterry (Tram.), both of the 1st Norfolks, were killed near Falfemont Farm, and Lieut. P. S. Worner (9th Devons, Educ.) near Ginchy, on the 7th Sergeant R. H. Newbold (2nd London, Educ.) near Guillemont and E. P. Finnessy (R.F.A., Tram.) near Montauban and on the 9th Robert Jessop (5th London, Educ.) near Guillemont. On this same day Corporal T. B. Butler (M.G.C., Asylums) died at Rouen of wounds received on 18th August near Martinpuich.

Third Phase, September to November.
In another general attack on 15th September Flers was captured by the 41st Division and New Zealand troops assisted by several tanks, Martinpuich by the 15th and Courcelette by the Canadians. High Wood, reached by cavalry during the fighting on 14th July, had been attacked by the 33rd and 51st Divisions later in the month and by the 1st on 3rd September, but each time without permanent success. Out-flanked by the fall of Flers, it was at length captured on the 15th by the 47th Division after sharp fighting. On the 18th an advance was made towards Morval.

' This was the first occasion on which these new engines of war were used.

These were the best results which, since the beginning of the battle, had been obtained in any one operation. A further advance on the 25th resulted in the capture of Morval by the 5th Division, and Les Boeufs by the 6th and the Guards, while next day Gueudecourt fell to the 2ist Division and Combles to the 56th. The enemy was thus cleared from much of the high land which he had held for the previous two years and instead of overlooking our trenches was now overlooked by them. Thiepval, on the left of the advance, where the attack had failed on 1st July, still continued to offer a resolute and obstinate resistance. However on the 26th, in conjunction with the operations on the right at Gueudecourt and Combles, Mouquet Farm was captured by the Canadians and the 11th Division, and by the morning of the next day the whole of Thiepval had been seized by the i8th Division.

Lieut, A. C. Dancer (5th Dorsets, Educ.) for conspicuous gallantry in the fighting at Thiepval and Mouquet Farm was awarded the M.C. " He established and maintained communications throughout the operations with great courage and skill. On one occasion he himself killed several enemy snipers."
About this time also Sergeant J. H. Taylor (R.W. Surr., Parks) was awarded the D.C.M. " for conspicuous gallantry in action. He commanded his men with great courage and initiative, holding a front line position until relieved." Sergeant T. F. Watkins (R.F.A., L.F.B.) was awarded the M.M.

Between 1st and 3rd October the enemy's fourth system of defences was breached by the 47th Division, at and near Eaucourt I'Abbaye, and on the 7th the 23rd captured Le Sars and the 20th advanced to the east of Gueudecourt. At this point when great results were in prospect, even the cutting off or enforced withdrawal of the enemy as far as Arras and the river Scarpe, the weather, which for some time had been unfavourable, completely broke up. A month's incessant rain made the roads, already much damaged by the traffic and shell-fire, almost impassable either for troops or supplies, and in the mists aeroplane reconnaissance was impracticable. The enemy thus had time in which to re-organise his troops and to construct new defences.
Except therefore for the operations in the valley of the Ancre the battle, after more than three months' continuous fighting, died down with our line on the forward slope of the ridge running through Les Boeufs, Gueudecourt and Le Sars.

Sergeant L. Willey (1st E. Surr., Housing) was awarded the M.M. for bravery shown at Combles on 25th September when, after all the officers of his company had become casualties, he re-organised half the company, consolidated the new position and held it until relieved on the night of the 26th. Sergeant F. Hills (London, Educ.) gained the M.M. at Eaucourt I'Abbaye on 8th October when he carried out a most successful reconnaissance under heavy fire, and about this time Sergeant S. Simpson (London, Educ.) also received the same decoration. Captain A. B. Raffle (R.A.M.C, Pub. Health) was awarded the M.C. for general distinguished service.

The casualty lists were very heavy, the deaths among the Council's staff being as follows: On 10th September W. H. Hird (5th London, Educ.) was killed near Guillemont, B. E. Clarke (7th Middx., Educ.) on the 11th and J. G. Armes (3rd London, Tram.) on the 12th, both near Leuze Wood, while H. O. Wood (1st Middx., Stores) and Sergeant T. W. Peel (8th Middx., Asylams) died on the latter date of wounds received on the 10th and 11th respectively. On the 15th Sergeant H. G. Maidment (2nd London, Educ.) was killed near Combles, James Gleadall, Sergt, C, J. Cotter, and A, F. Warren, all 7th Middx, and Educ, at Leuze Wood, A. E. Hentsch (10th R.W, Surr., Parks) and Corporal G. W. Stannard (2nd Gren, Gds,, Educ.) at Flers, and at High Wood Corporal B. A. Geis (7th London, Estates and Vain,), Lieut. W. A. Burrows (8th London, Educ), A. T. Harling (Arch.), H. A, W. Knight (Educ.) and Lancelot Palmer (Educ), all of the 15th Londons, Sergeant G. O. Patterson (17th London, Parks), Lieut. T. H. Rowson (19th London, Educ), Lieut. C. H. H. Roberts, M.C. (21st London, Educ), Sergeant J. C. Mills (23rd London, Tram.), and H. O. Beardmore (25th London, Parliamentary). On the same date Harry Ashley (R.F.A., Tram.) was killed near Mametz, and J. A. Clarke (5th Rifle Brigade, Pub. Health) and Walter Cappleman (loth Rifle Brigade, Tram.) probably near Gueudecourt. W, A. Head (23rd London, Educ), Sergeant G. T. Springbett (11th R.W. Kents, Educ.) and Lance-Corp. H. A. Overton (15th London, Stores), wounded on this date, died on the 16th, the 17th and the 18th respectively.

Frank Russell (Educ), Norman Lynes (Educ), W. W. Beverley (Tram.) and Lance-Corp. Fred Wholey (Educ), all of the 7th Middx., and G. F. Pearson, B.Sc (5th London, Educ.) were killed on the 16th at Leuze Wood, and Alfred Page (15th London, Solr.), H. G. Rees (15th London, Educ) and Alfred Reeve (23rd London, Tram.) at High Wood. Lieut. W. G. Beaumont-Edmonds (22nd London, Clerk) was killed on the 17th at High Wood and Lance-Corp. A. V. Weston (13th E. Surr., Tram.) near Flers. P. St. C. Selman (17th London, Pub. Health) wounded at High Wood about this date died at Rouen on the 18th and on the latter date Capt. T. S. Rushworth, A.R.LB.A. (7th London, Housing) was killed at High Wood. W. G. N. Hannaford (R. Engrs., Arch.) died at Rouen on the 23rd of wounds received in the Somme area on the 18th, and J. W. W. Powlesland, M.M. (4th Grenadier Guards, Tram.) at Gueudecourt on the 25th. The losses at Thiepval included Lance-Corp. J. Woodcock (12th Middx., Stores) on the 26th, and John Thompson, M.M., and C. J. Jeffery, both of the 7th Buffs and Tramways, on the 30th. S. J. Best (20th London, Ch. Engr.) was killed at Flers' on 1st October, C.Q.M.S. Fred Woodhouse (6th R. Berks., Ediic.) near Thiepval on the 2nd, E. A. Trew (18th Kings Royal Rifles, Ediic.) at Eaucourt I'Abbaye on the 3rd and G. H. Gordon (R.F.A., Educ.) died at Rouen on the 4th of wounds received near Combles a week before, and Co. Sergeant-Maj. J. P. Edwards (26th R. Fusiliers, Arch.) in England on the 7th October of wounds received near Flers on 15th September.

Another day on which the staff suffered heavily was 7th October. Lieut. J. H. Allender (1st London, Comp.), Lieut. L. C. Haycraft (Educ), and Co. Sergeant-Maj. T. C. Pope (Educ.) of the 4th Londons, Lance-Corp. J. F. Ore and Lance-Corp. A. J. Ames (7th Midx., Educ), and probably D. Daly (7th London, Educ), and E. J. Titcomb (7th London, Tram.) were killed near Les Boeufs, Lance-Corp. R. W. Daly (6th R.W. Rents, Parks).. C. M. Coleman (9th R. Fusiliers, Tram.) and Corp. C. J. Mitchell (9th R. Fusiliers, Asylums) near Gueude- court, F. W. Trotman, B.Sc. (Comp.), Corp. R. A. McMillan (Pub. Health) and H. W. Lawrance (Arch.) of the 15th Londons, and F. W. Peterson and S. H. Potter, both of the nth R.W. Rents and Tramways, at Eaucourt I'Abbaye.

On the 8th Lance-Corp. C. A. Raymond (11th R.W. Surr., Educ.) was killed, probably near Eaucourt I'Abbaye, E. R. Porter (5th London, Clerk) and A. E. Haward (5th London, Educ.) near Le Transloy, and G. A. Ga5AVood (M.G.C., Tram.) probably near Gucude-court. On the 10th Lieut. R. E. Brewer (R.F.A., Educ) was killed near Canioy, and Nelson Laurence (1st London, Asylums) in the area of the Somme, and on the same date Battery O.M.S. Harry Kelcey (R.F.A., L.F.B.) died at Rouen of wounds received at High Wood at the beginning of the month, and Lance-Corp. Arthur Clark (i6th London, Stores) of wounds received on the 9th. Lieut. Charles Sizeland (7th Norfolks, PMuc.) was killed near Le Transloy on the 12th, Lieut. S. S. Boden (M.G.C., Educ.) near Le Sars and Corporal L. M, Marks (nth Essex, Tram.) near Gueudecourt on the 15th, Lieut. William Davis (9th Middx., Educ.) near Gueudecouit on the i8th, Lance- Corp. W. E. Stower (16th Middx., Asylums) near Flers on the 20th, Lieut. T. E. Parry (2nd Lane. Fusiliers, Educ.) near Gueudecourt, and E. J. P. Longley (2nd Rifle Brigade, Est. and Vain.) near Les Boeufs on the 23rd, and Lieut. Archibald Steven (8th Glouc, Educ) near Thiepval on the 25th. Bombardier F. J. Archer (R.F.A., Tram.), wounded on 2nd November near Sailly, died the same day and W. T. Chesterman (1st R.W. Surr., Tram.) was killed on the 3rd between Les Boeufs and Combles.

Battle of the Ancre.
The failure at Thiepval and Beaumont Hamel on 1st July and the partial success at the former on 26th September have already been referred to Our advance over the high land east of Thiepval to the line Les Boeufs — Gueudecourt — Le Sars threatened to cut off the Germans in. the valley of the Ancre round about Hamel and Beaucourt, but the continual rain put an end to that advance. It was therefore decided to deal with the enemy positions on the Ancre by direct assault. Early in November the weather improved, with frost in place of rain. On 13th November, after a bombardment lasting 48 hours, the attack was launched in a mist and at almost every point was completely successful. On this or succeeding days the 19th and 39th Divisions captured St. Pierre Divion and land to the east, the 63rd was successful at Beaucourt, the 51st at Beaumont Hamel and the 2nd to the north thereof. The number of prisoners taken was 7,200.
In the fighting near Beaumont Hamel Lieut, (afterwards Captain) F. G. Bull (23rd R. Fusiliers, Clerk) gained the M.C., and in the same neighbourhood Sergeant T. J. Sevier (R.A.M.C, Educ.) gained the M.M. on 16th November for rescuing wounded under heavy sheh fire. On 13th November H. F. Bentley (R.N.V.R., Tram.) was killed near Beaucourt and S. H. Boot (5th Seaforth Highdrs., Arch.) near Beaumont Hamel, on the 14th H. J. Dunford (Hon. Artillery Co., Educ.) near Beaucourt and on the same date C. J. L. Jewell (R.G.A., Tram.) died near Albert of wounds received the day before, probably in this sector.

The net immediate result of the Battle of the Somme was the piercing of the enemy's lines on a front of some seven miles and to an average depth of three or four miles, and the capture of 38,000 prisoners, 29 heavy guns, 96 field guns, 136 trench mortars and 514 machine guns. The enemy's withdrawal in the spring of 1917 south of the Scarpe and in the valley of the Somme was a further direct result. Of much more importance, however, than the gain of ground or the capture of prisoners, was the moral effect of the fact that our men had driven the Germans out of strongly fortified positions and had held the positions so won against frequent counter-attacks. Casualties of course had been heavy but the enemy's losses both in men and material were not much less than ours.
In the second place the pressure on Verdun was relieved so effectually that in the latter part of the year the French were able to win back much of the ground lost in the earlier part and to capture many prisoners and guns. Finally the enemy was prevented from moving troops to the Italian or Russian fronts
The losses admitted by the Germans were 444,933 which, in view of their methods, might have to be increased by 50 per cent. (Times Literary Supplement, 20th January, 1921, p. 34). The British losses in July, 1916, were 196.081 (Capt. P. E. Wright, At the Supreme War Council, p. 121), but this rate was far from being maintained. Our total losses were 499,476 {ibid., p. 33). The French losses were less than the British. It must be remembered, however, that the British casualty lists included the names of those who received very light wounds; usually such light cases were not included in the lists of the other belligerents. for, at the end of the year, his strength in France was greater than in July.

Although only British operations are dealt with in this sketch it should be stated that throughout the battle the French played a most prominent part. The Germans were not expecting an attack from them so that their advance on our right was most successful, particularly at first, and carried them almost as far as Peronne. Then the German resistance stiffened, but all through the operations the French continued to assist the right of our advance and to push the enemy back on both sides of the Somme. Their total advance was from four to six miles on a front of about fourteen miles.

General Fighting during the latter half of 1916.

Sergeant F. King (R.F.A., L.F.B.) was awarded the D.C.M. for gallantry and devotion to duty in action at Laventie on 23rd August, 1916, and Sergeant E. M. Cronyn (R. Fusiliers, Asylums) the same decoration for bravery at some place unknown. Sergeant J. V. Jeanes, M.M. (Gren. Guards, Asylums) for bravery at Ypres was awarded a bar to his M.M.

The list of those killed in France during the latter half of 1916, apart from those who lost their lives in the Battles of the Somme and the Ancre, includes Corporal A. E. Stevens (2/15th London, Educ.) killed at Neuville St. Vaast on 3rd August, Lance-Corp. George Dormon (2nd Hamps., Tram.) in a gas attack near Ypres on the 9th, Sergeant F. G. Golding (6th London, Arch.) on the 21st of wounds received the day before, C. H. Barnes (9th R.W. Surr., Tram.) on the night of the 2ist/22nd, Louis Green (R.E., Educ.) on the 24th, Alfred Warren (17th Kings Royal Rifles, Asylums) on the 25th of wounds received on 21st June, and F, J. B. Saunders (2/15th London, Educ.) on the 31st near Arras.

W. J. Fell (10th R. Fusiliers, Educ.) was killed on 8th September, Lance-Corp. H. R. Horwood (23rd London, Tram.) died at Havre on the 15th of tetanus, and Lieut. J. C. Chalmers, M.M., {20th Northd. Fus,, Educ.) was killed, probably near Armentieres, on 16th October Chas. E. Palmer (4th R. Fus., Tram.) died of wounds on 6th November, Lieut. F. W. Lambe (4th R. Berks., Educ.) died at Rouen on the loth of wounds received the day before, Lieut. W. L. Elliott (9th Rifle Brigade, Educ.  was killed near Arras on' the 21st, and Capt. G. N. Higginson (16th R. Fusiliers, Educ.) on the 23rd near Beaumont Hamel. A. P. Phenix (12th Kings Royal Rifles, Tram.) died of exhaustion when leaving the line at Les Boeufs on 15th December, and J. A. Walker, B.Sc. (R.A.M.C., Educ.) and C. W. King (M.G.C, Educ.) were both killed to the south-east of Ypres on 24th December.