6th Battalion, Royal Berks
1st July 1916
 
 

Gallery - View South from Montauban - Mametz Road

The view south, towards the 6th Berkshires starting lines on 1st July, from the Montauban - Mametz road. Note the observation afforded of the former British lines and assembly areas. Many troops expressed dismay at this after taking the German positions, as this major advantage is not at all apparent from the bottom of the slope and their careful preparations had clearly been obvious to the enemy.

"We were being fired on from the rear. We thought this was our own infantry, so we jumped up shouting "Higer! Higher!". Then we saw two or three of our men drop wounded and we realised it was the English who were behind us, so we jumped back into our trench. One or two wanted to fight on but there were many in our regiment who were over 40 and had family ties and were the first to suggest surrendering. In the end the others were swayed. We tied a handkerchief to a rifle and waved it and the English came and rounded us up. We were very depressed but we knew that once we had surrendered the English wouldn't shoot us. We could see from their faces that they were as pleased as we were that it was all over, but they took all our watches from us" - Unteroffizer Gustav Luttgers, 109th Reserve Regiment (defending the Montauban - Mametz sector of the German Line).

Quotation from "The First Day on the Somme" by Martin Middlebrook

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