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#4528323 - 07/01/20 11:28 PM Somme *****  
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Yesterday was the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. 57,000 casualties on that day alone. Many "Pals" battalions wiped out. When I was a kid, there were still many families who had lost dads, brothers, cousins or friends on that day. The German machine gunners had to change their barrels three times.


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#4528324 - 07/01/20 11:38 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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World War I was a horrible meat grinder.



And today is the opening day of Gettysburg


Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Someday your life will flash in front of your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.
#4528334 - 07/02/20 02:01 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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I was just downloaded my Great Grandpa's WWI military records today. He was shot at Vimy. Right leg and chest, but a wallet stuffed with letters and pictures, in his chest pocket saved his life.
The Canadian Government has a website you can go to if you want to search for a relative.

Government of Canada Personal records Archive


All Lives Matter.
#4528338 - 07/02/20 02:28 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Hard to comprehend how the top brass could accept those numbers back then. Is it to say the elite folks were nothing more than savage baboons?
Looks like it frown

Most of you probably read Somme Mud by E P F Lynch, and if you have not, I strongly recommend it, pronto.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Somme-Mud-P-F-Lynch/dp/0553819135

Cheers,
Slug


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#4528341 - 07/02/20 02:49 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Thanks Max, Made me think of my grandfather, a horse artillerymen in the 26th "Yankee" Division.

Nowhere near the Somme, but he saw enough action to get mustard gassed (coughed his guts out every morning for the rest of his life) and was awarded a Silver Star and two Croix de Guerres (ok, one with palms for the second award I believe) from France. Pretty sure it was all from one action. All my Dad ever had were his medals and a few pictures. One was a gorgeous (in my memory anyway) colorized version of his horse artillery battery charging across a battlefield somewhere in France.

Bless em all! salute

Certainly a different breed of man than we see nowadays...


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#4528346 - 07/02/20 03:44 AM Re: Somme [Re: WangoTango]  
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Originally Posted by WangoTango
I was just downloaded my Great Grandpa's WWI military records today. He was shot at Vimy. Right leg and chest, but a wallet stuffed with letters and pictures, in his chest pocket saved his life.
The Canadian Government has a website you can go to if you want to search for a relative.

Government of Canada Personal records Archive


And is free. Went there to research 6 of 8 of my g'uncles. who served in the Canadian army. One died of wounds during Vimy, 38th Batt, Eastern Ontario Regt.


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4528348 - 07/02/20 04:03 AM Re: Somme [Re: Nixer]  
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Originally Posted by Nixer
Thanks Max, Made me think of my grandfather, a horse artillerymen in the 26th "Yankee" Division.

Nowhere near the Somme, but he saw enough action to get mustard gassed (coughed his guts out every morning for the rest of his life) and was awarded a Silver Star and two Croix de Guerres (ok, one with palms for the second award I believe) from France. Pretty sure it was all from one action. All my Dad ever had were his medals and a few pictures. One was a gorgeous (in my memory anyway) colorized version of his horse artillery battery charging across a battlefield somewhere in France.

Bless em all! salute

Certainly a different breed of man than we see nowadays...


My maternal grandfather was horse cavalry, 3rd Dragoon Guards. Just a working class bloke but a 1914 volunteer. I remember him with Union Jacks and his Regimental crest tattooed on his forearms and portraits of King George V and the Queen on his chest.

Machine-gunned in 1916 and invalided out.


" if you don’t like the religious Right, wait until you meet the non-religious Right.."
#4528349 - 07/02/20 04:08 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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I have a great grandfather who fought in the Somme in September and October 1916 (6 months after his tour in Verdun), 149th Infantry Regiment, earned a Croix de Guerre during an assault on a village there. Badly injured to the leg just before Nivelle's offensive at the Chemin des Dames.

#4528353 - 07/02/20 04:40 AM Re: Somme [Re: KraziKanuK]  
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Originally Posted by KraziKanuK
Originally Posted by WangoTango
I was just downloaded my Great Grandpa's WWI military records today. He was shot at Vimy. Right leg and chest, but a wallet stuffed with letters and pictures, in his chest pocket saved his life.
The Canadian Government has a website you can go to if you want to search for a relative.

Government of Canada Personal records Archive


And is free. Went there to research 6 of 8 of my g'uncles. who served in the Canadian army. One died of wounds during Vimy, 38th Batt, Eastern Ontario Regt.

Yes, free. Any records after 1919 you have to reach out and request them. I have hard copies of my Poppa's WWII documents. He was enlisted all 6 years. Shot in the arm. Discharged a Lieutenant, Field Artillery.


All Lives Matter.
#4528370 - 07/02/20 08:44 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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My maternal Grandmother lost three brothers (of eleven children) in that conflict, but post Somme. Two on the Western Front, no known grave. And another in Palestine to disease. She never talked about them, so we know nothing of them, except for one photograph. My paternal one 'died of drink' a few days before war was declared.
Wife's Grandfathers. Her paternal one, a subaltern in the Middlesex Regt,, was meant to be present at the Somme but had a serious mouth infection and became a 'Base Wallah', administrating the Light Railways supplying the Front. Her maternal one was a Petty Officer and saw action off the Dardenelles. Both served in the next was and beyond.



#4528373 - 07/02/20 09:51 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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#4528377 - 07/02/20 11:07 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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It's doubtful that any of my ancestors fought in WWI since my dad's family emigrated from Italy to Puerto Rico in the early 1900's and my mom's family was all in Cuba.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4528382 - 07/02/20 11:40 AM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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I'm fairly sure that my paternal Grandfather lost 2 brothers in WW1. He never spoke of his experience. I believe he also survived a gas attack.


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#4528391 - 07/02/20 12:56 PM Re: Somme [Re: BD-123]  
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Originally Posted by BD-123
My maternal Grandmother lost three brothers (of eleven children) in that conflict, but post Somme. Two on the Western Front, no known grave. And another in Palestine to disease. She never talked about them, so we know nothing of them, except for one photograph. My paternal one 'died of drink' a few days before war was declared.
Wife's Grandfathers. Her paternal one, a subaltern in the Middlesex Regt,, was meant to be present at the Somme but had a serious mouth infection and became a 'Base Wallah', administrating the Light Railways supplying the Front. Her maternal one was a Petty Officer and saw action off the Dardenelles. Both served in the next was and beyond.

My paternal g'mother lost 3 of 4 brothers on the Western Front. The one mentioned above is buried in Boulogne, he was the first. Two weeks later another brother, Royal Marines Light Infantry, MIA, during the Arras battle and the third, Gordon Highlanders, in Nov '17 at Cambrai, also MIA. He was a 'Boy Soldier'. One of Mom's 4 uncles in WW1 was invalided out of service after being gassed several times (early 1918).

G'mom would talk about them but when WW2 started only one of her sons was off legal age. She wouldn't sign the enlistment papers for my father and his younger brother as they were not of age. They came home but the first one had some close calls, a bomb in Aberdeen when on leave, bombed at Normandy and a V2 in Brussels, woke up in a gutter covered in dust). Grew up in a veterans community (all the streets were named after places Canada fought at in WW2, Normandy, Falaise, Arnhem to name 3) so all us kids had ex military parents, some with war brides.


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4528395 - 07/02/20 01:45 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Both my grandfathers fought in WW1, my maternal grandfather was in the Cameronians/Scottish Rifles, he died just before I was born so I never met him, I think he had already passed away before my mother and father got married as he is not in their wedding picture. No one spoke about the war, I know that bombs did fall on where my mother's family lived and they got rehoused a lot further north near where my dad lived.

My Paternal grandfather, I'm still trying to find out, most likely he would be in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders but I have no details and there are tens of thousands of "Paul" to go through in the National Archives. Now, my late uncle Jim was born in August 1919 that looks like my grandfather was busy once he got home from the war wink biggrin Come to think of it my late Aunt Sadie was born in 1914, my eldest aunt was born in 1903 and my father in 1923. They also moved house in 1919 to the other side of the town in a newly built house in which they lived in up to 1976.

I was 8 when my paternal grandfather passed away so still just a bit young for war stories. I had my father's kitbag and flying jacket, the kitbag got lost in a house move and the flying jacket got torn apart by a dog, to say that both my dad and I were upset about it, we had been working on a car in the garage and I had left the jacket on top of the car while we went inside, when we came out it was torn to bits, that was in 1975.

I have my Maternal Grandfather's Cameronians cap badge from WW1, and I believe it's my Paternal Grandfather's cap badge for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4528397 - 07/02/20 01:54 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Love this thread for all of the personal history being shared. It's all quite fascinating and it reminds me of why I joined SimHQ in the first place.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4528401 - 07/02/20 02:08 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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The Cameronians Scottish Rifles fought at the Somme, whether my grandfather was there or not I don't know but I intend to find out.

Battle honours:

Originally Posted by Cameronians Scottish Rifles
THE GREAT WAR

27 Battalions - Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914-18, Aisne 1914, La Basseé 1914, Armentiéres 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers,Loos, Somme 1916-18, Albert 1916, Bazentin, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Arms 1917-18, Scarpe 1917-18, Arleux, Ypres 1917-18, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, St Quentin, Roslères, Avre, Lys, Hazebrouck, Baillieul, Kemmel, Scherpenberg, Soissonnais-Ourcq, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Epéhy, Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Cambrai 1918, Courtrai, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Doiran 1917-18, Macedonia 1915-18, Gallipoli 1915-16, Rumani, Egypt 1916-17, Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa, Palestine 1917-18.

http://cameronians.org/battle-honours/index.html


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4528404 - 07/02/20 02:57 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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In 1914 the ( then ) country of Newfoundland ,with a population of about 220,000 raised a regiment and sent it overseas. They fought at Gallipoli and in Egypt and then were sent to France

The July Drive or the Battle of the Somme was a turning point in the history of the country of Nfld. At Beaumont Hamel, the cream of our youth were wiped out. After the war we , alone among the nations, paid off ALL our war debt and thereby bankrupted ourselves.

Here is a short video that related the story of one Nfld family at the Batlle of the Somme

https://www.facebook.com/reg.sherren/videos/10156901419870633/?__xts__[0]=68.ARDID1GFM5INl_yq0kV0-UlbUI_gSYPsFGKTLbG8vBmUc1uLROKoFssgCOeVjyQgdPLV8zpcNCLxmpaOBz4_DR-f_9-Nsw4RDvtXXXZQlTZAE8gMrH4UtPjgaQS4kgilv78et8bzLgbZfecHjUaOJt6vHEyXg6zkx5vVu2Qiw5KWovAMC3UEkbGJL26r9m9TQAvbFVQqgNRHCIIsqTT1LuZxw9E5X7IiyjjkTtt-OFR9rAgxpWufWToVsMqcyUFK-hoRiqVoDH6gb2ODwJjncEuizqAhsUGLMye7egB9OnezdSuclsGnvYOouaxP-eelTNKJcDI_aEZorEXSiOnZKaIPh4_5&__tn__=K-R


Archie Smythe

carpe diem
#4528415 - 07/02/20 03:39 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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Just watching a doco on WWI aviation at the moment. Up to the Lafayette Escadrille (spelling) part. One of the American fliers comes back in from combat with a head wound and a damaged plane, jumps out snd says 'Get me another plane!' Flies off and dives into a melee with 4 German fighters and is killed. First of the American volunteer pilots in the squadron to die in air combat.

Great story and one i remember vaguely from my dads book as a kid. I remember thinking even then with awe how courageous these people were.

The Somme though, down below, that is just pure terror.


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#4528419 - 07/02/20 04:05 PM Re: Somme [Re: Mad Max]  
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I've posted these in the past, but this thread makes it relevant. This is a service pin for those who served at the front. It was meant to be worn post war when looking for work. As you can see on the back, it had a heavy penalty of $500 for fraudulent use. Quite a sum in 1919. Great Grandpa took machine gun fire at Vimy. Shot through the right leg, right close to where you don't want to be hit, and out his right buttock. Second shot hit him in the chest, but a fat wallet stuffed with letters and photos redirected the bullet and saved his life.
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
This is an artillery shell from WWI turned into a bank. My Great Grandpa who fought in WWI gave it to his son, my Poppa. It says to Willy, my name is William also. Poppa gave it to me around 1977 when I was 10. I cherish it.[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Poppa also served in artillery, in WWII. He was shot in the left arm ( he always told me when I was a kid he got shot in the bum, he liked to joke) He gave me his medals one day, around 1977 as well. They were just in a paper sack, a lunch bag type. He said, these are for you. I held them like that forever. One year my wonderful wife had them mounted in a shadow box for me.
[Linked Image]
My aunt, Poppa's daughter told me that after the war, sometimes they would shine his medals, and ask questions like "what is this one for". Poppa would say "for eating my oatmeal every day". Like most, he did not want to talk about it. Also like most, he turned to alcohol. he was not a perfect man, but he was John Wayne to me, still is. He passed away in 1980.

My Dad served during the Cold War 1964 till 1991. He mad a career of it. He started out Army and transferred to Air Force as an air frame tech. He retired from the military and worked for McDonnell Douglas in Toronto, as quality control. Unfortunately Cancer got him in 1995 at the age of 48.

Me ? I wimped out and was an autoworker for 30 years. I was however able to fully retire at 51.



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