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Remembered Today:

Casualties by battalion , 1 July 1916


kwalls

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Apologies if this has been done before - I've had a search but can't find anything.

I'm after a casualty list for 1 July 1916 by battalion - just the basic numbers would do but any additional info (Officers v ORs; killed, wounded and missing etc) would be great.

I can't seem to find it anywhere but the stated figure must come from somewhere, right?!

Any ideas?

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It's easy to search yourself by Bn but not necesarily accurate.

Put date into

http://www.hut-six.co.uk/cgi-bin/search14-21.php

But you need to check each one because they may well have died of wounds on that day after being wounded previously.

In other posts there has been a tendency to list losses in a league table, to find those with the highest proportion you need to know the strength of the Bn when it went into action.

Mick

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http://www.freewebs.com/ballymenaww1/deathonthewire.htm

KIAs 12th Royal irish Rifles at link above (scroll down)

Total Btn. marched away on 3rd July 126 (many later returned after relatively minor wounds had been treated). Of combat strength on July 1, around 40 were gathered for final charge.

11th and 13th R IRish Rifles KIAs on this link

http://www.freewebs.com/ballymenaww1/ancresouth1july1916.htm

again, scroll down.

I'm unaware of a total btn by btn casualty list as such ... but as you say, bound to be around somewhere. I imagine various forumites with interests in specific regts./Btns. should be able to provide KIA lists similar to above.

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Any ideas?

Yes. Pop down to your local history library and dig out their copy of the CD "Soldiers Died in the Great War". You'll be able to search for killed on the date and the various battalions. Shouldnt take too long

John

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Many thanks for the suggestions.

My local library, Aldersh*t, is living up to its name, being completely unable to use the CD. And I've tried Geoff's search engine before: unfortunately, my three test cases have pulled up different results to the accepted figures (not that Middlebrook and the OH are undisputed, but you know what I mean!).

So not much joy on either count (plus, they only list deaths and I'm really after the full numbers).

Can anyone else help?

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Hi Kat

Are you just after those Battalions on the Somme or All Battalions where ever they where on 1st July 1916, I can give you the K.S.L.I. figures if the later.

Annette

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Well what a task you've set for yourself Kat and one that may never have a definitive answer. There were 616 infantry battalions involved in the Battle of the Somme although not all took part on that fateful day. Then there are all the other units, RA, ASC, RFC etc.

20,000 is the figure that has been since that date and a simple search of SDGW with just the date gives 17,228 ORs and 1005 officers, this is reduced to 16,423 ORs and 969 officers as KiA. 16,386 (ORs only) of these are listed as France and Flanders. I'm sure that CWGC will boost these figues but sadly is limited to displaying 1000 records, so it's difficult to get an average using Geoff's search engine in a broad search like this. To start you would need to have a complete list of all battalions and units that were involved, I can tally up a few figures to help you on your way as I'm sure many other forum members will be.

I wish you good luck in this quest, oh, and welcome to the forum

cheers, Jon

Jon

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Well what a task you've set for yourself Kat and one that may never have a definitive answer. There were 616 infantry battalions involved in the Battle of the Somme although not all took part on that fateful day. Then there are all the other units, RA, ASC, RFC etc.

20,000 is the figure that has been since that date and a simple search of SDGW with just the date gives 17,228 ORs and 1005 officers, this is reduced to 16,423 ORs and 969 officers as KiA. 16,386 (ORs only) of these are listed as France and Flanders. I'm sure that CWGC will boost these figues but sadly is limited to displaying 1000 records, so it's difficult to get an average using Geoff's search engine in a broad search like this. To start you would need to have a complete list of all battalions and units that were involved, I can tally up a few figures to help you on your way as I'm sure many other forum members will be.

I wish you good luck in this quest, oh, and welcome to the forum

cheers, Jon

Jon

Oh, how I wish it'd been me that had set this task - then I could ditch it!! No, it's for work, I'm afraid.

I'm 'only' after casualty figures for the 202 bttns in the front line on 1 July 1916, and I'm particularly looking at those that were alongside different types of units - ie, where New Armies bttns went in next to Regular or TA bttns (5th Manchester Pals between 2nd Warwicks and 1st RWF, for example).

I've been using Geoff's search engine by bttn and it's coming close to the info I've gleaned from other sources, but it only lists the dead and I really need wounded, missing and POWs too.

If anyone has individual bttn figures that would certainly help to build up the bigger picture!

(Oh, and many thanks for the welcome!)

Hi Kat

Are you just after those Battalions on the Somme or All Battalions where ever they where on 1st July 1916, I can give you the K.S.L.I. figures if the later.

Annette

Hi Annette,

Many thanks for the offer but it's only those in the line that I'm after - sorry!!

Kat

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Yes. Pop down to your local history library and dig out their copy of the CD "Soldiers Died in the Great War". You'll be able to search for killed on the date and the various battalions. Shouldnt take too long

John

John,

True but the results are not accurate! SDGW does not differentiate, for example, between 1st and 2nd battalions so, for example, if a 2/5th London Regt man died on the day he will only be down as 5th London Regt. and would be included in the total for 1st July. You need to check CWGC to correct this. That is why Ernest Bell's long out of print book 'Soldiers Killed on the First Day of the Somme' is somewhat inaccurate, he compiled it from the printed volumes of SDGW.

Bill

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I've been using Geoff's search engine by bttn and it's coming close to the info I've gleaned from other sources, but it only lists the dead and I really need wounded, missing and POWs too.

'Missing' will end up either in the wounded, dead or POW columns (or back in the battalion's strength for those lost out in No Man's Land or otherwise separated from their battalion. Men were turning up for days). Some wounded died months later as well so accurate figures are going to be impossible. The Official History gives some figures of dead, wounded, missing and PoWs but what it doesn't do is then allocate the missing to one of the other columns.

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The Official History will supply the information as far as it is recorded but it will still take a bit of collating. I think I'd get it on extended loan from the library and start to lay out a spread sheet to record the details in a manner that made sense to me. McCarthy's " The Somme, Day by Day" will help to flesh out the OH account, as will Gerald Giddon's " Battle of the Somme". Quite a task you have ahead of you.

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Hi Kat,

I think another problem is that many of these battalions didn't have a roll call until the 2nd July,

I have the casualty return for the 12th Y & L which was taken at noon on the 2nd

Officers, 4 KIA, 7 wounded and 4 missing believed wounded (their names do appear in the WD)

ORs Killed, wounded and missing 468.

I'll go through my notes and see what else I can pull out,

cheers, Jon

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Look out for a book called 'Soldiers Killed on the First Day of The Somme.' by Ernest W Bell.

This was privately published in 1977 and may be difficult to find.

However he searched the battalion records and listed all those recorded as dying on 1st July 16. Obviously it is not possible to tell who died later from wounds as many lay out for too long before help came. The authors idea was to benefit medal collectors regarding awards made for that day.

He lists regiments and battalions and arrives at a figure of 18,011 officially killed that day.

You can imagine how difficult that count must have been!

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I'm sure that CWGC will boost these figues but sadly is limited to displaying 1000 records, so it's difficult to get an average using Geoff's search engine in a broad search like this.

Removing the limit of 1000 results, my engine reports 18,380 for all UK services and for all theatres for 01/07/1916.

And I may only have 98% coverage.

To start you would need to have a complete list of all battalions and units that were involved

Yes.

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The key to this is real time .. i.e. as has been pointed out, most units would not have roll call until (probably) 3rd July. Thus any war diary which give state of Btn. on that date is a best bet .. but then you have to think of accuracy and nos. who came back from dressing stations etc after that date. This may well be, sadly, an impossible figure to render with complete accuracy in terms of wounded, missing.

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How do I remove the limit Geoff?

Come 'round to my place and use my PC. Bring some bottles with you :lol:

Sorry, the serious answer is I expected that even 1000 links is an absurd amount to deal with and I'm not sure how many search results I could store on the server. That is the reason for the present 1000 limit. (server side programming is pants, by the way)

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John,

True but the results are not accurate! SDGW does not differentiate, for example, between 1st and 2nd battalions so, for example, if a 2/5th London Regt man died on the day he will only be down as 5th London Regt. and would be included in the total for 1st July. You need to check CWGC to correct this. That is why Ernest Bell's long out of print book 'Soldiers Killed on the First Day of the Somme' is somewhat inaccurate, he compiled it from the printed volumes of SDGW.

Bill

Also, SDGW sometimes gets the 1st and 2nd July mixed up! In one battalion I looked at, 80(ish)% of casualties (apparantly) happened on the 2nd July - the day they left the line! (in reality, all bar 6 died on the 1st)

Dave.

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Will Brigade or Divisional War diaries contain tabulations of casualties?

I know the 14th Y&L did "an account" with numbers

.............Killed Wounded Missing Total Casualties

Officers........2.......4.......4......10

Other Ranks....24.....149......92.....265

Total..........26.....153......96.....275

Figure 17 - 14th Battalion Casualties, from: Account of part taken by the 14th (S) Bn York & Lanc Rgmt in the attack on Serre, 1st July 1916, (Battalion War Diary)

Would all battalions have done something similar and submitted it up the line?

David

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Look out for a book called 'Soldiers Killed on the First Day of The Somme.' by Ernest W Bell.

This was privately published in 1977 and may be difficult to find.

He lists regiments and battalions and arrives at a figure of 18,011 officially killed that day.

You can imagine how difficult that count must have been!

And, though a valiant effort, is inaccurate for all of the reasons given. Any figure given for the 1st July is an estimate and no precise figure will ever be possible. Best guesses are all any one can give.

Would all battalions have done something similar and submitted it up the line?

Every war diary I have seen gives a table of losses but, as mentioned, there was no consistency as to when the roll calls were carried out: Saturday night, Sunday, Monday; and every day men were returning who might have been listed as 'missing' and then there's the issue of 'wounded at duty' and how this was assessed by the units. Around Gommecourt the last known man to be recovered alive but wounded from No Man's Land was brought in 14 days after the attack and there were wounded and PoWs dying from wounds months after the attack too.

A definitive figure is an impossibility.

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Found this on the 8th Y & L

The 8th York and Lancaster Regiment took 680 men and 23 Officers over the parapet, all the Officers were either killed or wounded and of the battalion only 68 returned.

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Thanks for the input and suggestions, everyone - any numbers VERY gratefully received!!

I'm getting from everyone the idea that "a definitive figure is an impossibility" - if this is true, where do the numbers come from? This is my confusion - if an official number is given surely there must be an official list somewhere?!

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The Official History written years after the event still lists people as 'missing' who must have been dead, which makes life difficult but with men dying of wounds months after the event and some uncertainty as which day they died on precision becomes impossible. For example, some might have been killed on 30th June waiting for the attack or getting into the trenches, the majority died on Saturday, 1st July, others died early the next day and many DoW over the coming weeks and months. If you totalled the men given as killed on 1st July on the CWGC, the men listed as killed on SDGW and the Official History's figures you would end up with three different totals. There is no official list of the men who died on, or because of, 1st July 1916.

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