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STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUPsheg.stanford.eduDocument A:The Daily ExpressThe Daily Expressis an English newspaper founded in 1900. Like other Englishnewspapers, it printed daily news and stories on the war. Here is an excerptwritten by reporter John D. Irvine describing the first day of the Battle of theSomme. It was published on July 3, 1916.The great day of battle broke in sunshine and mist. Not a cloud obscured the skyas the sun appeared above the horizon – in the direction where the Germantrenches lay. . . .I witnessed the last phase of the bombardment, whichprecededthe advance. Itwas six o’clock (summer time) when we arrived there. The guns had beenroaring furiously all through the night. Now they had, so to speak, gatheredthemselves together for one grand final effort before our British lions should belet loose on their prey. . . .A perceptibleslackeningof our fire soon after seven was the first indicationgiven to us that ourgallantsoldiers were about to leap from their trenches andadvance against the enemy. Non-combatants [like myself], of course, were notpermitted to witness this spectacle, but I am informed that the vigor andeagerness of the first assault were worthy of the best traditions of the BritishArmy. I have myself heard within the past few days men declare that they weregetting fed up with the life in the trenches, and would welcome a fight at closequarters. . . .

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Term
Fall
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
Machine gun, Battle of the Somme, George Coppard, Gunner Schwarz

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