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Remembered Today:

East Surrey, 7th Battalion


Mhankins
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I am researching on of my relatives who was killed in action in the Somme on August 12th 1916.

He was in the 7th Batallion of the East Surrey Regiment, but I have had very little luck working out if there were any specific actions on that day

Thankyou in advance for your help, any information about the activities of the 7th Batallion around this date would be helpful. I am not sure if this is relevent but at some point he became attached to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have now ascertained that the on August 12th 1916 the batallion were in trenches North of Ovillers

There Objectives were: " The battalion was to attack & capture the german from line from 6.2 to 9 _ & to make a block in the trench 20-6.2, also to capture point 74 these were the first objectives second objectives were trench 6.2 to 44 to 5.5 & to keep in touch with the Essex who were attacking SKYLINE TRENCH with their left on point 7.8.

My question is now where can I find a map that will clarify the actions on that day?

The Diaries talk about points 90, 74, & 55

Best Wishes and thanks for the help with this

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See the attached map snippet, dated August 15th 1916.

Orientation:

The three black arrows mark Skyline trench from the right hand-most to the centre (lowest) arrow. Turning 90 degrees from centre to the left hand-most black arrow, heading northwest, is Pole trench.

The centre arrow, i.e. the southwestern end of Skyline, is also the left anchor of the Essex battalion referred to, point 7.8 .

The two blue arrows denote Constance trench.

The Essex referred to (9/Essex, 35 Brigade) were attacking north-easterly onto Skyline trench and captured it, placing two strongpoints and retiring behind the crestline to the reverse slope.

It's called Skyline because, as you can see, it sits upon the top of the shoulder running down from between Mouquet Farm and Pozieres cemetery.

7/East Surreys were attacking easterly with their line of advance being to the north of Constance trench. i.e. they were attacking towards the upper part of Pole trench.

So far, so good.

Here we enter the realm of deduction as opposed to fact;

Knowing the line of advance I've tried to find trenches running from 2.0 to 6.2, etc and the following is the only solution which fits reasonably well.

The two green arrows denote points 2.0 (lower and left) and 6.2 (upper and right). The trench between them is the one they were to block. Being critical of myself I've placed the right-hand green arrow slightly too far to the right, it ought to be on the path crossroads just above the two figure '1's in the number '110'.

From that corrcted point down to the golden arrow, which is 9.0, and this is the front line trench to be captured.

Point 7.4, also to be captured, is between 6.2, the path crossroads just referred to, and the crimson arrow, the complex of trench junctions in this area.

Moving on and considering the 2nd objectives AND the need to keep in touch with the 9/Essex attacking Skyline to their right;

The best fit for 5.5 is the pale purple arrow. This starts with their first objectives and extends them to theor right, i.e. towards the 9/Essex with the goal of maintaining contact.

Point 4.4 is a mystery. The only point 4.4 in any of these squares where 7/E. Surrey would have been operating which has an objective is the Wonderwork. The letter d of Wonderwork is in position 4.4 of that square. No other point 4.4 sits on a trench line or any other obvious objective.

Some of it is fact, some is educated guesswork. I'm sure someone will come along with a better solution, but until then....

Simon.

post-47832-087170700 1296267763.jpg

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