2 July 2013

The Somme

Yesterday was the 97th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. 

I was amazed that with interest building for the Centenary of the start of the Great War, that no one picked up on it for their news programmes.

Claire and I have been across a number of times to visit the cemeteries and war graves of our relatives killed fighting on the trenches between 1914 and 1918.

So I thought maybe in 2014 we could have a weekend there as a family commemoration and also mark the Centenary.

There's plenty of time yet but an outline of the trip is forming in my mind.

Our Somme connection is that one of my Grandfather's cousins is buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Corbie near Amiens in the Somme region.

William Devall was born in south London but was sent to join the Shropshire Light Infantry. The 7th Battalian was a service battalian, created for the war only.

A notable comrade was Siegfried Sassoon the famed war poet who was also in the KSLI.

The 7th missed the opening days' carnage and arrived in the line to form the next assault

The regimental history glosses over the men that died and concentrates on the officers.

That means we have no idea how William came to have been wounded. What we do know is that Corbie was a large dressing station and that William died of his wounds on July 16th.

"DEVALL WILLIAM
United Kingdom Private 9682King's Shropshire Light Infantry16/07/1916 Age: 26 I.D.25."


So. The trip. Bare bones at the moment. 

Go over on the Friday afternoon or evening.  
Hotel 1 near the port.  
Saturday early start to ride down to the Albert/Cobie area.  
Hotel 2 in that area
Sunday explore further the KSLI battle grounds
Come home.


Further reading and sites I am using to plan:



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