Friday 21st July 1916. Day 21
The 1st Australian Div took over part of the line, Black Watch Alley, south of Pozieres.
Saturday 22nd July 1916. Day 22
The 9th (
tate> Queenslandtate>) Bnof 3 Bde, 1st Australian Div tried to advance up two German trenches called OG1 and OG2 towards Pozieres. They were driven back by grenades and MG fire.
From Waterlot Farm 3rd Div made an advance on Guillemont Railway Station but was forced back by MG fire.
A battalion of 35th Div made an unsuccessful attack on the German line between Maltz Horn Farm and Arrowhead Copse.
This day by day account of the battle of the somme is a real labour of love for you groundhog and very educational .
Sunday 23rd July 1916. Day 23
Today saw the commencement of the Battle of Pozieres Ridge. It was also the day on which the first attack was made on Guillemont. Both battles would last until September.
This map shows Pozieres today- depicting the locations of monuments and war cemeteries. On
23rd July 1916, the Front Line cut the Albert Bapaume Road (D929) roughly at and ran south east to the Contalmaison-Martinpuich road (yellow on the map) where it turned east almost to the D73 which is the road to Bazentin Le Petit. Here the line turned south again. Pozieres Trench ran from the KRRC Memorial to the D73. From here it became Munster Alley and continued east. From the D73 running north between Pozieres and the Mill were the OG1 and OG2 trenches. The railway line approached Pozieres from the east crossing the D929 at it’s junction with the the D73. The railway then skirted the northern edge of the village and continued west to Ovillers. Pozieres War Cemetery
North of Pozieres, 48th Div attacked the German trenches along the railway line with six battalions of Territorials. 1/5th and 1/6th Glosters suffered heavy casualties. On their left 1/4th Glosters managed to bomb forward some distance while on the right 1/4th Oxf and Bucks LI and 1/4th Buckinghamshire Regt captured a trench south of the railway. A dawn counterattack from Pozieres cemetery was beaten back and then 145 Bde renewed it’s attack on the left capturing the railway track and a trench east of it.
1st Div attacked south east of Pozieres at . 1 Bde attacked the Switch Line Trench with 1st Bn, Cameron Highlanders and 10th Bn, Gloucestershire Regt. They were halted by MG fire. 2 Bde sent 2nd Bn, Royal Sussex Regt and 2nd Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps to capture the junction of the Switch Line and Munster Alley. They were reinforced at by 1st Loyal North Lancs but with no success.
In conjunction with these assaults north and south of Pozieres, 1st Australian Div attacked the village itself from the south at . Four battalions (9th and 11th of 3 Bde and 1st and 2nd of 1 New South
Bde) quickly captured Pozieres Trench but the German trenches, OG1 and OG2, east of the village held out. By the support battalions 3rd, 4th, 10th and 12th had dug in along the Bapaume road. 3 Bde was enfiladed by OG1 however and had to throw back it’s right flank to face the German line. At a counterattack from there was repulsed. During the day patrols were sent north of the road and after dark the 8th Bn was moved up from reserve to occupy the remainder of the village. Wales
Bazentin Le Petit
19th Div attacked with 4 battalions of 56 and 57 Bdes. The objective was a German trench north of the village. Halted by MG fire all four battalions were withdrawn by .
At on the 22nd, the 5th Div’s 13 Bde attacked Wood Lane Trench, which ran south east from High Wood to Delville Wood. Caught in the light of German flares the Bde suffered heavy casualties from machine guns sited in High Wood and withdrew. Reinforced by two battalions another attempt on
treet>Wood Lanetreet> was made by 13 Bde at . Again it failed and the Bde was back at it’s start line by dawn, having suffered over 1000 casualties.
At two battalions of 154 Bde, 51st Highland Div, attacked High Wood itself, tasked with the capture of a 600 yard stretch of the Switch Line Trench. 1/4th Gordon Highlanders lost direction in the wood and were machine gunned. 1/9th Royal Scots were shelled as they advanced into the wood. Both battalions withdrew at with the loss of 450 men.
At 3rd Div launched another attack on Delville Wood. 9 Bde attacked from south of Longueval, initially making some progress with three battalions. Eventually these were forced back to their start lines. 95 Bde of the 5th Div attacked some German strongpoints in the orchards north of Longueval. The 1st East Surrey Regt and 1st Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry captured one strongpoint but were forced back by a German counterattack.
21 Bde of 30th Div attacked Guillemont at with 2nd Bn, Green Howards from north of Trones Wood and 19th Manchesters advancing from the wood itself. The Mancs got into the village despite the wire being uncut but were forced out by . The Howards got lost in a smokescreen and while some captured a trench south of Guillemont Station, later falling back on Waterlot farm, the remainder withdrew to Trones Wood, disorganising the rest of 30th Div.
South of the railway line little headway was made in clearing the ground by bombing parties of 7th Shropshire Light Inf and 8th East Yorks of 8 Bde. These troops also withdrew to Waterlot Farm. The mixture of units here fought off a German counter-attack. From here also, 2nd Royal Scots unsuccessfully attempted to bomb down along the Guillemont road.
Tuesday 25th July 1916. Day 25
At the 5th Australian Bn captured OG1 south of the railway and moved on to OG2. After a heavy exchange of grenades the Australians fell back to OG1. On the right the 10th and 19th Bns attacked Munster Alley between OG1 and OG2. The 10th captured a strongpoint on the OG1 junction and the Germans were pushed back along Munster Alley as far as OG2. The 8th and 11th Bns pushed north and linked up at the cemetery north of the village.
After dark 2nd Australian Div relieved the 1st Australian Div in Pozieres. In three days the Australians had lost 5,285 men.
3rd Div was relieved by 2nd Div.
Wednesday 26th July 1916. Day 26
1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regt of 48th Div linked up with the 2nd Australian Div in the north of Pozieres shortly after .
At a company of 20th Bn (5 Bde) attempted unsuccessfully to raid OG1.
In the afternoon, 17th Bn and the bombers of the 18th began fighting in Munster Alley.
23rd Div relieved 1st Div in the line between Pozieres and Bazentin Le Petit.
Thursday 27th July 1916. Day 27
1/8th Royal Warwickshire Regt of 48th Div bombed forward north of Pozieres as far as a track running from Ovillers to Courcelette.
17th and 18th Australian Bns continued inconclusive bombing in Munster Alley.
At after a one hour barrage on Delville Wood the 1st Bn, KRRC and 23rd Bn, Royal Fusiliers of 99 Bde, 2nd Div began their advance from the south. By they had occupied a line 50 yards from the northern edge of the wood. At a German attack forced back the right side of the line slightly so that it ran just east of King St.
In conjunction with 2nd Div, 1st Norfolk Regt and 1st Bedfordshire Regt of 15 Bde, 5th Div attacked the west end of the wood and Longueval village. The
linked up with 2nd Div in the northern end of the wood. Longueval was occupied almost as far as Bedfords treet>Duke Sttreet>.
That night 17th Middlesex and 2nd
South Staffords(6 Bde) relieved 99 Bde. 95 Bde relieved 15 Bde.
Saturday 29th July 1916. Day 29
7 Bde, 2nd Australian Div overran OG1 with three battalions- 25th, 26th and 28th – in the south of Pozieres. Halted by wire when they advanced on OG2 they were driven back to the start line. In the north of the village 23rd Bn of 6 Bde overshot their objective and were halted by their own barrage.They had to pull back over part of their own captured ground as they were out-flanked by the Germans who had driven back 7 Bde. At the end of the day the 23rd was left holding a narrow salient north of Pozieres pointing towards Mouquet Farm.
1/4th Seaforth Highlanders of 51st Highland Div attempted to take a strongpointat the eastern corner of the wood with no success.
Bazentin Le Petit
10th Bn, The Duke of Wellington’s Regt attacked at night along Gloster Alley, reaching to within 25 yards of the Switch Line by Dawn.
12th Glosters and 1st
East Surreysattacked in Longueval. The Glosters occupied a line 500 yards north of Duke St while the Surreysmade no progress.
Sunday 30th July 1916. Day 30
A three battalion attack from 153 Bde, 51st Highland Div on the south eastern corner of High Wood and
treet>Wood Lanetreet> commenced at . It was unsuccessful and the survivors dug in 200 yards in front of the start line.
Simultaneously 19th Div attacked towards the Switch Line west of High Wood under cover of a smokescreen. 7th Bn, the King’s Own and 10th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regt captured the eastern half of Intermediate Trench but failed to advance further. On the left flank 10th Worcesters and 8th Glosters weren’t even that successful.
In conjunction with the attack on High Wood and the Switch Line, 5th Div renewed the assault in Longueval. 2nd Bn, Kings Own Scottish Borderers managed to get one company through Delville Wood where they dug in. The rest of the company was halted by shelling. In the same brigade (13 Bde) 14th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regt, was halted by MG fire. Reinforcements by three more battalions failed to renew the advance.
2nd Ox& Bucks LI and 24th Fusiliers (5 Bde, 2nd Div) attacked Guillemont Station from Waterlot Farm but were forced to withdraw.
30th Div attacked Guillemont from the trenches south of Trones Wood at . A company of 2nd Bn Bedfordshire Regt with a company from the French 153rd Inf Regt captured Maltz Horn Farm. 20th Bn King’s Regt pushed forward through the German front line as far as the road running south from Guillemont to Hardecourt. Here they consolidated with the help of 17th Bn King’s Regt. The 19th Bn King’s Regt advanced as far as the south east corner of Guillemont but retreated later in the day in the belief that they were surrounded. 2nd Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers (90 Bde) made it into the village consolidated and fought off a counterattack before being surrounded and over-run. The remainder of 90 Bde was beaten back by MG fire.
Wednesday 2nd August 1916. Day 33
16th Royal Scots (101 Bde, 34th Div) spent the early morning attempting to bomb westward along Intermediate Trench with no success. At another attempt gained 100yds of trench.
In the wood itself 51st Highland Div began sapping towards the Switch Line and also towards
treet>Wood Lanetreet>. III Corps took over responsibility for the line west of High Wood from 51st Highland Div which was part of XV Corps.
Go on ya boy ya!
Too much feckin leave, thats your problem.
Press Corp-"Say General the Folks back home would sure like to know where you got that pearl handled revolver?
Patton-" P-P- Pearl? ITS IVORY-only a cheap New Orleans Pimp would use a PEARL handled revolver
Thursday 3rd August 1916. Day 34
West of Pozieres 12th Div sent two battalions- 8th Royal Fusiliers and 6th Buffs- into action at against the enemy in a trench called
treet>Fourth Avenuetreet>. They captured the south west part of the trench and a strongpoint in it. Bombers from both battalions made their way into Ration Trench.
Friday 4th August 1916. Day 35
Another night attack saw 7th Royal Sussex and 9th Royal Fusiliers make a frontal assault on Ration Trench while 8th Royal Fusiliers bombed up along it from the left flank. Further left again 37 Bde of the 12th Div captured the part of Ration Trench in it’s sector.
The 2nd Australian Division renewed the offensive in Pozieres. At the 18th, 5th (
tate> New South Walestate>) and 20th Bns captured the length of OG1 south east of the treet>Bapaume Roadtreet>. OG2 was captured after heavy fighting. Consolidation was difficult.
North of the Bapaume Road 7 Bde captured OG1 and OG2 south of the Courcelette Track and consolidated just beyond OG2. The 23rd Bn failed to advance to the OG lines north of the track.
The Germans counterattacked unsuccessfully through the night.
South of Pozieres the 13th Durham Light Infantry advanced 60 yards by bombing along Munster Alley. A frontal attack on Torr Trench (which led into OG2) failed and The Australians blocked the trench entrance.
Saturday 5th August 1916. Day 36
The Germans launched a heavy attack on the Australian 7 Bde at . 27th and 28th Bns, having driven the Germans back, advanced and dug in on OG2 and around the windmill. At , on the right flank, 26 Bde fought off another German assault.
The Germans recaptured 50 yards of Intermediate Trench from 34th Div.
Sunday 6th August 1916. Day 37
The farm is just north of Pozieres. In 1916 it was a German Bde HQ and a strongpoint defended by two companies in a warren of bunkers and MG posts. It’s importance as an objective lay in the fact that it flanked Thiepval Ridge. Because Mouquet Farm (Mucky or Moo Cow Farm to the troops) was the scene of heavy fighting from today until 3rd September, I’m going to treat it as a separate sector.
9th Bn, Royal Fusiliers (36 Bde, 12th Div) were holding Ration Trench. At a German attack from the north east with grenades and flamethrowers drove the Fusiliers out of their trench. Fighting in the open they prevented any further German advance.
This is the best map I could manage.
In the early morning 5 and 7 Bdes (2nd Australian Div) were relieved by the 45th and 48th Bns of the 4th Australian Div in Pozieres. A German attack from Courcelette was driven back.
South of the village, in the afternoon, 8th Green Howards captured another 150 yards of Munster Alley from the Germans. They also secured the eastern end of Torr Trench. Fighting continued all night with 11th
West Yorksfighting through the Green Howards in conjunction with an Australian attack.
Monday 7th August 1916. Day 38
At the Germans broke through the Australian positions at The Elbow (a point on OG2 north of the Windmill). After heavy fighting the Germans were driven back. Lt Jaccker and a small group of men were instrumental in driving back the Germans by attacking the from the rear.
South of the village fighting continued in Munster Alley.
17th Div relieved 2nd Div’s 99 Bde in the Wood.
At 51 Bde of 17th Div advanced and dug in beyond the wood. At 10th Sherwood Foresters had dug in in front of Longueval.
Tuesday 8th August 1916. Day 39
35 Bde, 12th Div, holding the ground near Ration Trench was attacked at and again at on both flanks. The main body held off the attack but on the right 5th Bn, Royal Berks pulled back.
At the Australian 15th Bn drove the Germans from
treet>Park Lanetreet> and entered 0G1. The failure of 7th Suffolks on the Australian’s right to retake Ration Trench meant that the 15th Bn had to withdraw back to the line of the Farm track.
XIII Corps launched a two division assault on Guillemont and the area east of Waterlot Farm.
6 Bde, 2nd Div attacked north of the railway. 1st King’s Regt attacked Guillemont Station with three companies reaching their objective. The fourth company found the German front lines reoccupied. From Waterlot Farm, 17th Middlesex Regt entered ZZ Trench but failed to link up with the King’s Regt.
55th Div attacked Guillemont itself with two brigades-164 and 165.
In 164 Bde, 1/4th Bn King’s Own Regt was halted by barbed wire south west of the village. The Liverpool Irish (1/8th King’s Regt) advanced past the quarry and occupied the centre of Guillemont. They were followed by 1/4th Loyal NorthLancs, whose mission was to occupy the German line. They however were pushed back and the Liverpool Irish were surrounded in Guillemont where the survivors surrendered after 36 hours.
South of Guillemont 165 Bde sent 1/5th King’s Regt bombing along Cochrane Alley. They were soon halted and forced back to the assembly trenches.
Wednesday 9th August 1916. Day 40
The Australian 16th Div captured
treet>Park Lanetreet> in a night attack.
55th Div again attacked Guillemont, with 164 Bde and 166 Bde. The three battalions committed were driven back.
North Lancs(34th Div) advanced 200 yards along Intermediate Trench and across open ground beyond.
In the wood itself 33rd Div continued sapping towards the Switch Line while east of the wood a forward trench was dug facing
treet>Wood Lanetreet>. Two flamethrowers (weighing 2 tons each) oil drums and a pipe pusher (for boring saps) were brought forward. Things could be hotting up for Harry Hun.
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