less detailed information easily available for those interested in
the southern end of the battlefield, where all objectives were taken
and despite suffering heavy casualties the utter carnage that happened
further north was avoided. One aim of this site is therefore to try
and help anyone else with an interest in The Somme, particularly the
part played by the 6th Berks., avoid going to the lengths that I had
to in order to obtain even the limited knowledge presented here.
In time, the site will be expanded as my research continues. Of course,
if anyone feels able to add to it then I would welcome their contribution.
time ago I was given a photograph of a young man in Corporal's
uniform. Written on the back was a short reference to his
being Albert, my grandfather's eldest brother and that he
had been "Killed First World War". My grandfather
had died some years previously and had never spoken of Albert
- indeed nobody in the family knew anything about him. I
resolved to find out more about this young man.
established that he had been in the 6th Battalion of the
Royal Berkshire Regiment and the date and rough location
of his death it was clear that he had been taking part in
the opening day of something called the Somme Offensive
- at that time I knew next to nothing about the first world
war, although the more I read the more absorbing that period
of history became. I quickly discovered that there is a
wealth of information available about the first day of the
Somme, although understandably most of it deals with the
northern part of the assault, as this was where the tremendous
tragedy occured that lead to 1st July, 1916 being the blackest
day in British military history and which sent a shockwave
through the established social order of the day.
other reason for writing these pages is that in a way I feel I owe
it to Albert and his pals. Although I still don't know exactly how
he died (and suspect that I never will), I do feel satisfied at
having made some progress to understanding what he went through
and that he can now truly rest in peace, his sacrifice finally recognised.
N.B. I believe
the information on this site to be accurate. If there are mistakes
then they almost certainly reflect my interpretation of the various
sources used rather than the sources themselves, for which I apologise
- corrections would be welcome