RLAH Battle of the Somme.docx - Document A The Daily...

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Document A: The Daily Express STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu 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 John D. Irvine 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. . . . I witnessed the last phase of the bombardment, which preceded the advance. It was six o’clock (summer time) when we arrived there. 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 were getting fed up with the life in the trenches, and would welcome a fight at close quarters. . . . We had not to wait long for news, and it was wholly satisfactory and encouraging. The message received at ten o'clock ran something like this: "On a front of twenty miles north and south of the Somme we and our French allies have advanced and taken the German first line of trenches. We are attacking vigorously Fricourt, La Boiselle, and Mametz. German prisoners are surrendering freely, and a good many already fallen into our hands.” Source: John D. Irvine, Special Account of the Fighting in Our New Offensive,” The Daily Express , July 3, 1916.
Document A: The Daily Express STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu Vocabulary undulating : a wavy surface slackening : loosen up, or taper off
Document B: British Soldier George Coppard was a British soldier who fought during the entire First World War and was twice wounded. He fought at the Battle of the Somme as a machine gunner and wrote about his experiences in his book, With a Machine Gun to Cambrai . In this excerpt, Coppard recollects his experience on July 2, 1916. The next morning we gunners surveyed the dreadful scene in front of our trench. There was a pair of binoculars in the kit, and, under the brazen light of a hot mid-summer's day, everything revealed itself stark and clear. . . . Immediately in front, and spreading left and right until hidden from view, was clear evidence that the attack had been brutally repulsed. Hundreds of dead, many of the 37th Brigade, were strung out like wreckage washed up to a high-water mark. Quite as many died on the enemy wire as on the

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