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Brummie Territorials

Terry Carter
his year on 1 July 2006 it is the
90th Anniversary of the opening
day of the Battle of the Sonune. For those that do not know the Somme is a river in northern France.
During the First World War the Btitish-held trench system ran from just north of Ypres in Belgium to just
past the little French village of Maricomt, near the town of Albert and to the River Somme. From the Somme onwards to the Swiss border the French An11y held the trenches.
It is possible to write pages and pages about the Battle of the Somme. Virtually every regiment in the British Army was involved during the opening day and until the Battle of the Somme ended during mid-November
1916 when \"'inter conditions turned the crater-strewn battlefield into a quagmire and all movement became
1916, the British and Commonwealth losses amounted to 420,000; those of the French to around 205,000; and the German casualties have been gi,·en as nearly 700,000.
On the opening clay of the battle, Saturday
1 July 1916, the British attacked at 01: 30 a.m. on roughly an eighteen mile front \Y it h
around 120,000 men .-!erial dew looking down onto the Heidenkopf Redou bt.
'Going over the Top·. This \Yas after an else the survivors would be so eight day continuous bombardment demoralised by constant shell fire by British Artillery of all calibres. It that om troops would just have to was the biggest artillery walk across No Man's Land and tak e bombardment of the ,,·ar. so far. It the German positions.
was thought that the poor Gennan On one section of the British line on troops holding the trenches "·oulcl the nOlthem sector of the Sonm1e

impossible. By the end of November,
either be smashed to smithereens or
front, in the vicinity of the villages of Hebuterne and Foncque\·iJlars no attack was to take place. This section of the front was held by the 48th Di\ision Tenit01ial Force. As you can guess by the title, this was a Division macle up of Territ01ial Army units. Prior to the First World War it was lznom1 as the South Micliand Division and one of its Infantry B1igades was lmo\nl as the Warwickshire Brigade.
This Brigade was made of the fom Royal Warwickshire Regiment Territorial Battalions that were formecl in April 1908: The 5th and 6th Royal \Yarwicks, who both shared the same Drill Hall in Thorp Street, Birmingham: the 7th Royal Warwicks
\Yhose Drill Hall was in Coventry; and the 8th Royal Warwicks whose Drill

The lane leading from the village of Colincamps where the 118 and 116

marched down prior to the attack. The Sucrerie Cemetery is on the left. This is also where the survivors of the two battalions had their roll call.
Hall and parade ground was behind
the Witton End of Aston Villa
Football Club.
uinton Loculiji tory - oeief! ·1

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