Members of a Highland Territorial unit cross over a trench during the Battle of Cambrai, Nov. - Dec, 1917
Carefully checking a dugout!
Kaiser accepts the salutes of some of his men with one of his own…
"An officer of 444 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA), smokes a pipe as he supervises a kitten balancing on a 12 inch gun shell near Arras." July 19, 1918.
Tyne Cot Memorial
Newfoundland Regiment, No. 3 Platoon, A Company, Fort George, Scotland, ca. 1915.
97 years ago today at 08:45, the Newfoundland Regiment fixed bayonets and charged across no man’s land to the fortified village of Beaumont-Hamel on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Although the Canadian Corps would only be sent in several months later, in the Autumn, Newfoundland was not yet a part of Canada and so the Newfoundlanders were among the first waves of British troops to enter combat at the Somme.
780 soldiers charged forward on that terrible morning, and within twenty minutes over six hundred of them would lose their lives in a torrent of machine gun fire and shrieking artillery. Only sixty-eight of the survivors would be available for roll call the next morning.
However, this did not mark the end of the Newfoundland Regiment. Within two months, the regiment was already back on the firing line, and in the Battle of Arras, which saw the capture of Vimy by the Canadian Corps, the Newfoundlanders would lose almost five hundred men in a single day holding off a German attack.
They would continue to fight for the rest of the war. In September 1917, King George V awarded the regiment with the “Royal” prefix. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the only regiment of the entire British Army to receive this honour during the First World War, and it was the third British Regiment to receive the “Royal” prefix in a time of war, the most recent one before that being during the Napoleonic Wars over a century earlier.
Wounded British troops wearing German helmets outside a Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly, September 1916
Grenadier Guards, Fusilier Regiment. Two Guards are Lance Sergeants, several other Non Commisssioned Officers, Corporals, Sergeants. Captured German headgear, may be of a Wurtemburger battalion. Soldier on right wearing a cloth battalion identifier badge (cloth shield).
James Hutchinson VC (9 July 1895 – 22 January 1972) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was serving with the British Army during the First World War at the time of the award.
Hutchinson was 20 years old, and a private in the 2/5th Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army on 28 June 1916 when his actions in Ficheux, France earned him the Victoria Cross. His citation reads:
For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack on the enemy’s position this soldier was the leading man, and, entering their trench, shot two sentries and cleared two of the traverses. After our object had been gained and retirement ordered, Private Hutchinson, on his own initiative, undertook the dangerous task of covering the retirement, and he did this with such gallantry and determination that the wounded were removed into safety. During all this time this gallant soldier was exposed to fierce fire from machine-guns and rifles at close quarters.
Le chemin creux, Somme.