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Thread: 1 July 1916

  1. #1
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21

    1 July 1916

    From: 2nd Lieut. W A Smith - No 10 Platoon - C Company - 2nd K.O.Y.L.I. - 2nd July 1916
    To: Adjutant 2nd K.O.Y.L.I.

    I have the honour to bring before your notice the splendid and heroic work carried out by Corporal Dobson of my platoon in action on July 1 1916.

    Corporal Dobson organised attacking by bombing the German strong points on our left and if it had not been for the splendid and heroic work done by this gallant N.C.O. we should probably have been surrounded.

    He went forward in shirt sleeves and was throwing bombs from 8.30 a.m. until he was unfortunately hit in the back about 5.00 p.m. that evening by a German bomb. He died a few minutes after being hit.

    His loss will be felt keenly by all the platoon. He was a capable N.C.O. always cheerful and fearless and always had a cheery word of encouragement for the recruits.

    This being my report, I have the honour to be, your obedient servant, W.A Smith 2/Lt. No 10 Platoon 2nd K.O.Y.L.I.

    Wilfred Alan Smith was my grandfather. He survived the war, at the cost of his sight - he was war blinded before its end - and died peacefully in 1960.

    Corporal Dobson was George Jones Dobson. He was twenty-eight years old when he died and is buried, on the Somme, near where he fell.

    One hundred years on, tomorrow, and in company with a thousand of his comrades of all ranks and regiments buried or commemorated alongside him in Blighty Valley Cemetery, George Dobson still holds that ground.

    The oldest of them is forty-nine years old....the youngest of them is seventeen years old.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 30-06-2016 at 23:50.

  2. #2
    That's very poignant! I was born and brought up in Germany as my father was British Army. We were very fortunate as kids to spend a lot of time travelling Europe , during which we visited many battlefield sites, as well as the many, many cemeteries containing only the war dead. As a consequence of my childhood, and by virtue of my own time in the Forces, respect for the fallen is deeply-ingrained in me. I think it's a sad travesty of the times that so many people these days have absolutely no awareness of just what it cost so many ordinary men and women to give them the freedoms they take for granted today
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  3. #3
    We 'will'. remember them

  4. #4
    Every time I hear the last post I also hear the words: 'They shall not grow old, as we that remain grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them'.

    It doesn't need to be a dramatic hanging of the head, or an elaborate display of pomp and ceremony. The dead don't know, or care. What IS important is that so many ordinary men and women cared for their country enough to risk, and lose, their lives to protect it, and the European countries the Axis forces were threatening.

    Given the recent furore regarding the EU referendum it makes me wonder just what the average WW1 soldier would've made of the fact Belgium now thinks it rules the world
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  5. #5
    Thanks for taking time to transcribe and post that letter. Every little bit counts, to help make your elders remember, your peers pause and reflect, and the younger generations curious about the suffering and courage of their ancestors, which bought the relative peace and liberty they now enjoy, and so many take for granted.

  6. #6
    Time marches on. Young adults today have a hard time remembering The Beatles ("was Elton John in The Beatles?") and The Falklands War is certainly fuzzy, which puts into perspective The Great War as regards time lapse. But it's SO important that we do continue to remember, not only to honour those that fought but also to ensure nothing like it happens again.

    Thanks for sharing that enfieldspares.

  7. #7
    A couple of 6 pounders returned from The Somme by my grandfather, along with a lifetime of vivid memories and health problems from exposure to chlorine gas.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Fredierick Thomas Lane - Father, village postman and soldier in The Gloucester Regiment - I count myself to be very fortunate to be here now on account of his safe return.

    It is fundamental that we remember, honour and recognise their service and sacrifice - out of sacrifice hope emerges.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    'Halt the Bay's and steady the Greys,
    But let the Glosters pass!'
    For Gods sake - don't tell her how much I've spent

  8. #8
    Slightly off topic but for the ex servicemen amongst you I was a trumpeter in the Coventry School of Music as a young man & played the last post many times. I noticed thatthe marines bugler rotated the bugle while playing both in France and Manchester is this the normal way to play it.
    France was very moving.

  9. #9
    I intend visiting the battlefields this summer to retrace my grandfather's steps as he was in the thick of it. He was mentioned in despatches at the Battle of Loos. He was gassed and also bayoneted twice during the fighting but went back into the front line as soon as he was able to do so. He was awarded the Military Cross for an act of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (also known as the First Battle of the Somme). He was awarded the medal for crawling out into the open and mending telegraph wires whilst in full view of the enemy and under fire. During this action he was badly wounded by shrapnel in both hands.

    I wish I could have met him:

  10. #10
    17 years old FFS. What a waste.

    Major reason for me voting 'out'.

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