Author Topic: the first day of the somme  (Read 6053 times)

timberman

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the first day of the somme
« on: January 28, 2008, 08:42:46 PM »
i've just read an account of the first day of the somme by an nco of the 22nd manchester rifles (7th pals) a battalion from the famous 7th division which was involved in the attack between two villages on the 1st of july 1916. what i would like to know is, where each battalion made up of many different groups of people, ie several different pals groups  or where they just grouped together as one big group.

Offline harribobs

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 09:51:18 PM »
the pals battalions were originally formed from the 'clerks and warehousemen' of the cotton industry in manchester, vast numbers of men from individual companies joined up together. so within each battalion you'll see those groups.

after the initial rush to join up subsided, men where coming in a more individual manner, so the later battalions were less 'focussed' in their make up

the 16th were formed from 1/9/14 to 2/9/14, the 17th on the 2nd and 3rd, the 18th on the 4th to the 9th, the 19th were complete on the 16th. you can see the rush to enlist slowing down. Probably the main thing to remember here is that all these men were mancunians and as such were 'pals' together

does that make sense?

chris
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  to serve as a warning to others."

timberman

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2008, 06:29:40 PM »
thanks harribobs
yes it does make sense, does that also mean that within the (example the 22nd) manchester rifles there would be machine gun sections, stretcher bearers, infantry and the like, or where they made up of one specific type of soldiers. The same thing with all the battalions did they all have specific functions or where they self contained units covering everything.

Offline mack

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2008, 09:23:26 PM »
they were all infantrymen.
the band doubled up as stretcher bearers when the battalion was in action.
they had their own signal section plus a machine gun and lewis gun section.
they also had their own transport section,all these were made up of men from within the battalion.

mack

timberman

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2008, 09:39:17 PM »
thanks mack
i've also seen pictures of field kitchens set up at the front to provide hot meals for the troops. would these of been manned by the troops of the battalion or a separate one for catering?

Offline mack

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 10:18:39 PM »
thanks mack
i've also seen pictures of field kitchens set up at the front to provide hot meals for the troops. would these of been manned by the troops of the battalion or a separate one for catering?
no TM,they are nothing to do with the battalion,if they were in the line,they would cook their own grub and their ration party would take it up to the front line.

mack

timberman

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 10:57:07 PM »
thanks mack
The reason i asked, the caption on the photo said, (british troops receive their dinner rations from field kitchen. Ancre sector, oct 1916. besides its obvious nutritional value, hot food did much to sustain the morale of cold and exhausted men) It just seemed strange to set a field kitchen up at the front if they had to bring it in and it wasn't part of the battalion.
timberman

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2008, 11:55:34 AM »
There was no such unit as 'The Manchester Rifles'.
Robert

timberman

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2008, 04:51:11 PM »
thanks for that, just goes to show you can't believe everything you read. Is it worth scanning the page or just except that the book is wrong. The write up was in the illustrated history of world war one by adrian gilbert which i've had since 1988.
timberman

Offline Wendi

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 09:33:59 AM »
Hi timberman

I thought you might like to see a page from the pals roll of honour which I think indicates quite well how men who worked together joined up together. 

The example I have chosen is one page from the workers at I J & G Cooper Ltd.  A Department Store in Manchester.



and can be viewed in more detail here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchester-regiment/2234586524/

Wendi  :)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 09:36:49 AM by Wendi »
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

wiganer

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2008, 02:38:57 PM »
Hi
Ihope this doesn't sound too flipant,its not meant to do.
We spent the 1st of july 2005 on the Some and we got good food on the front lnes-Ocean Villas in Auchenvillers at lunchtime ,in the garden ,next to a trenchand tea time at Le Tommys in Pozzieres.
Can recomend both !
vera

timberman

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2008, 06:07:45 PM »
hello wendi
i've just been reading about the accrington pals (i know their not the manchesters) and the devastation to the community after the first day of the somme when out of 720 accrington pals 584 where killed, wounded or missing and i'm sure as i read more about ww1 it will become clear that this was the norm across the board for all the regiments. seeing the list that you posted makes me start to realize what the pals battalions meant.
as a complete novice to ww1 i do appreciate the forum answering what must seem at times very mundane
questions. thanks timberman







Offline Wendi

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Re: the first day of the somme
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2008, 10:17:08 PM »
Hi timberman !

as a complete novice to ww1 i do appreciate the forum answering what must seem at times very mundane questions. thanks timberman

Not at all actually  ;D answering the questions often remind one of long forgotten rememberances ??? if that makes sense !  And I was keen to post the list last Tuesday  but technical problems on the site delayed my post  ;)

We are all very glad to encourage anyone who is interested, to an area of history they have perhaps have had no knowledge of before, of then also we get introduced to new things too !!!

Glad to have you aboard !

Wendi
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha