Back to the Somme: Part 3

| May 30, 2023

The Artillery Barrage Light gauge railways delivered ammunition to the frontline. Prior to the attack on 1 July 1916 a seven-day barrage fired 1.5 million shells. Of these it is estimated 1/3 of them were duds. The Canadian Expeditionary Force‚Äôs battalions took part in the Battle of the Somme but much later than the events […]

Back to the Somme: Part 2

| April 30, 2023

The Commanders The Somme was where the British and French armies met occupying a 25-mile front mostly to the north of the River Somme. The battle of 1 July 1916, was the largest operation of the Great War and started with 500,000 men, mostly volunteers of the Pals battalions. The Pals did not have the […]

Back to the Somme: Part 1

| March 21, 2023

And You Are There With Him For the recent Western Front Association Pacific Branch conference I was asked to include an operational history of the Battle of the Somme. This was to be the lead for two additional presentations by Ian and Casey Williams of the Paradigm Motion Picture Company. Ian spoke directly about Piper […]

British Columbia: First Day of the Somme

| June 29, 2022

The Darkest of Days The Battle of the Somme lasted for 141 days ending 18 November 1916. During its time the British Army and associated units of the British Commonwealth, including Canada, suffered some 650,000 casualties…200,000 lost their lives. It is, however, the first day…1 July 1916 that speaks with the loudest of voices…54,740 British […]

Pipe Major David Anderson

| February 14, 2011

Anderson advanced to the third line of trenches where he again took another round. He fell to the ground, stunned and bleeding. After a moment he was able to raise himself to a seated position where he continued to pipe his comrades on. While he played in this position a German shell exploded beside him. The shrapnel shattered his drones and pelted his body. Injured as servely as he was, Pipe Major Anderson rose to his feet and was almost immediately attacked by a German soldier…