Document A: The Daily Express
The Daily Express is an English newspaper founded in 1900. Like other English newspapers, it printed daily
news and stories on the war. Here is an excerpt written by correspondent Percival Phillips describing the first
day of the Battle of the Somme, which appeared in the paper on July 3, 1916.
The great day of battle broke in sunshine and mist. Not a cloud obscured the sky as the sun appeared above
the horizon – in the direction where the German trenches lay.
From a ridge a little to the west of Albert,
overlooking the town and commanding a wide view of the beautiful undulating country, I witnessed the last
phase of the bombardment which preceded the advance. It was six o’clock (summer time) when we arrived
The guns had been roaring furiously all through the night. Now they had, so to speak, gathered themselves
together for one grand final effort before our British lions should be let loose on their prey… A perceptible
slackening of our fire soon after seven was the first indication given to us that our gallant soldiers were about to
leap from their trenches and advance against the enemy. Non-combatants, of course, were not permitted to
witness this spectacle, but I am informed that the vigor and eagerness of the first assault were worthy
of the best traditions of the British Army. I have myself heard within the past few days men declare that they