6th Battalion, Royal Berks
1st July 1916
 
 


Further Actions

With the exception of the capture of the German front lines around Mametz and Montauban in the southern tip of the British sector, the front lines at the end of 1st July were to all intents and purposes as they had been at daybreak. The offensive, however was far from over. Bitter fighting would continue as the High Command was determined to push the Germans back, the result being a trench by trench, village by village and wood by wood war of attrition, lasting through the summer and autumn until both sides were bogged down in the mud as winter approached in November. By this time, the British had advanced in a line running roughly from Thiepval in the north to the French line near Le Transloy.

During the whole campaign, casualties are estimated at 1,300,000 divided roughly equally between the opposing sides. The British share was approx. 400,000. Ground taken was some 6 miles at most, with the northern village of Serre remaining in German hands and the initial phase Cavalry objective of Bapaume still some 4 miles distant.

Actions in which the 6th Berks participated on the Somme after 1st July, 1916:-

19th/20th July - Delville Wood

A badly conceived daylight attack on the "Devils Wood", under heavy artillery and machine gun fire, resulted in 40% casualties.

26th/27th Sept. - Thiepval

This German strongpoint in the line was originally an objective for 1st July but had stubbornly held out with great losses on both sides. The 6th Berks were acting as "Brigade Reserve" for the assault battalions in this latest attempt to capture the village. They provided carrying parties, etc... 1 OR (other rank) killed, 11 wounded.

28th Sept. - 5th Oct. - Schwaben Redoubt

The Schwaben Redoubt nest of dugouts and bunkers was briefly in British hands on 1st July but the isolated troops there could not hold out. Back in German hands it had since had been firmly resisting capture. The Berks. were initially "Brigade Reserve" but joined the assault proper themselves on the 29th. The appalling weather conditions probably account for the large number of missing... 17 killed, 15 missing.

Thereafter the Battn. was successful at both Regina Trench (21/10) and Desire Trench (18/11).