Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Battle of Somme

I have just transcribed the war diary from the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, who fought at the battle of the Somme. They were engaged near Beaumont-Hamel, and made no real progress that first day. Their losses were substantial, more than 70 men and officers. Reading the war diary, it strikes me how the emphasis lies with the officers, not so much with the men. Although those that merited a distinction (a medal) are singled out.

Twenty men from Lewis were lost on that first day, 1 July 1916, fifteen of whom served with the 2nd Seaforths. Losses among all British forces stacked up to 60,000. And what did it achieve? No more than 7 miles of terrain gained.

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