Guillemont 1916

On 5 September 1916, 11 DLI were ‘resting’ in shell holes covered in tarpaulins and whatever other debris could be found by way of shelter. It was not much of a rest after several days of exhausting work. On 3 September ‘A’ Company with 59th Brigade and ‘D’ Company with the Irishmen of 47th Brigade made a finally successful attack on the German strongpoint at Guillemont, going in perilously close to a creeping bombardment to increase the level of surprise. The plan worked and the two companies from 11 DLI promptly set to making the trenches good for following troops while the infantrymen pressed on. They were quickly followed by reinforcements from B Company and C Company, who took over from the infantry to both consolidate and hold the line under the command of Major Lloyd. It was an astonishing feat that lasted more than 48 hours before they were relieved, short of water and supplies. Of all the times that 11 DLI went into action this was probably the clearest example of what it meant to be Pioneers – labour and infantry combined. At least 27 were dead and missing. Many more were wounded.

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One thought on “Guillemont 1916

  1. 100 Years ago today. 2nd Sept 1916 Guillemont, Somme, Picardy
    John Wilson (Baity) an ex minor from the Adventure pit in West Rainton, who volunteered to join the Army in 1914, 11th Batt; ā€œCā€ Company, DLI 3-10828, was killed
    The attack was scheduled for the 3rd Sept, but the Germans had seen the build up of troops and were preparing for the assault. They were shelling the preparing troops very heavily
    John was killed on the 2nd Sept, the day or night before the attack, He could have been on a wire cutting party or preparing the front trench for the assault. Or perhaps by German shellfire.
    All the war diary says is that 7 men were killed and 36 wounded doing the preparatory work for the assault.

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