Home Archive Search Result The British Offensive on the Somme: Troops Who Beat the Prussian Guard; and Other War Scenes

The British Offensive on the Somme: Troops Who Beat the Prussian Guard; and Other War Scenes

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The defeat of the Prussian Guard before Thiepval was a brilliant incdent in the recent fighting on our front. The splendid spirit and cheerful demeanour of the gallant men from two English shires, to whom the credit for the achievement is principally due, is very visible in the two end photographs in the upper row above. An offical dispatch from General Headquarters of August 26 stated: “Last night (the enemy) delivered an attack in considerable force on our new trenches south of Thiepval village. This attack was made by troops of the Prussian Guard and was preceded by a very heavy bombardment, which commenced at 7 p.m. The attack was launched about 7.30 p.m. and was pressed with deter- mination, but was everywhere repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy, and we have maintained all our positions. The success of our defence is largely due to the steadiness and determined gallantry of Wiltshire and Worcestershire men, who, in spite of being subjected to a very heavy bombardment, steadily maintined their positions and r ed the deterned

amlt of the enemy.” In an inspiring account of the Thiepval success, and of the general spirit of the British troops, a ” Times ” correspondent writes : ” It was supremely thrilling to watch, and the impression which it leaves on one is of mingled terror and admiration of the power and excellence of our new artillery and the perfect gallantry of our men. The en were from English counties-Wilthires and Worm tehir-oldier of as stout a courage and as fine and knightly a spirit as had any men who ever fought . . . One has een a very great deal of the Army ; of the troops as they went into and came out of the fighting line and of all the great machine with which ich a war as this is waged. Never have I been gre impressed with the quality of that machine. There is no shadow of a sign of staleness of failing competence. The men . . . are fresh and fighting fit, full of health and jesting and laughter.”

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