- Present Day Front Line View 1
long gentle slope, on the right almost flat" - British Official
is a view looking north west from the approx. position of the
8th Norfolks and so depicts the ground over which the 6th Berks
made their assault on 1st July, 1916. Their final objective was
the Montauban Alley trench, located just over the ridge along
which the Montauban - Mametz road runs. The distance to be covered
was some 2000 yards.
and over, the first thing I noticed, how the top of the tall grass
was flying up in a bit of a mist; this was caused by the machine-guns
traversing at waist height against us. My men were falling all
around, some shouting, "I'm hit" or "I've got it",
and some not a word. Then, as we were advancing, a bunch of Jerries
loomed up from nowhere. I let a burst into them but, when we got
to them, we found they were surrendering" - L/Cpl W.G. Sanders,
Lewis Gunner, 10th Essex, attacking alongside the Berkshires.
were falling left and right of me, screaming above the noise of
the shell fire and machine-guns - guns we had been assured would
be silenced by our barrage. No man in his right mind would have
done what we were doing" - L/Cpl J.J. Cousins, 7th Bedfords,
attacking on the left of the Berkshires.
from "The First Day on the Somme" by Martin Middlebrook