WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY
TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR
At 7.30 am on 1 July, following an intensive bombardment and the exploding of several massive mines, British troops walked slowly towards the German trenches on the Somme from which, they had been reliably informed, the enemy would have been driven while the barbed wire entanglements in front of those lines would have been shredded. Neither statement was true. By the end of the day the British had lost 19,240 men killed while twice that number were wounded. No significant gains had been made. The total of 57,470 casualties remains the highest suffered by the British Army in a single day.
We will remember them
Private John Burden of the 6th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment lies buried
in St John's churchyard where it is recorded that he died on 29 July,
aged just 19. It is therefore assumed that he was invalided home where
he died of wounds or other causes. His parents were Sidney and Ada Burden
of 6, Hindon Lane, Tisbury.
POEM FOR JULY
Siegfried Sassoon had been with the Royal Welch Fusiliers on the Somme since early on in the war. On the first day he was with the reserve and thus able to witness 'a sunlit picture of hell.' He was in action two days later at the 'cursed' Memetz Wood. He wrote several poems in those early days of the battle, showing sensitivity and understanding over the young German dead they came across. The emergence of his sense of futility and frustration comes over clearly in this poem 'Counter Attack.'
We'd gained our first objective hours before
A yawning soldier knelt against the bank,
An officer came blundering down the trench:
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