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Beaucourt by Michael Renshaw

By Michael Renshaw

Beaucourt is without doubt one of the final components of the conflict of the Somme nonetheless to be lined, in the past, by means of the luxurious Battleground Europe sequence. It was once additionally one of many final activities of the conflict of the Somme, 1916.The eventual trap of Beaucourt besides Beaumont Hamel compelled the Germans to retreat to their new line of defense often called the Hindenburg Line. Readers are taken on a voyage of discovery in the course of the village of Beaucourt and alongside the banks of the Ancre towards Cambrai.

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At zero hour 12/Royal Irish Rifles Number 8 Platoon detailed to attack the position, led by Sergeant Hoare, left the Crow’s Nest, an elevated piece of ground near the railway line, and advanced under a smoke barrage. They split into three groups: Rifleman J Black, 12 Royal Irish Rifles of Ballymoney is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Sergeant Bennison took a group to the right, Sergeant Hoare remained in the centre while Sergeant Hamilton went to the left. The shelling was very intense and all groups were heavily machine-gunned from both flanks.

British trenches on the left, German trenches on the right. Note the field of fire of the German machine gun post in the foreground. This is on the approximate site of the Pope’s Nose. The third wave of supporting attackers were accommodated in the communication trenches. 30am within 150 yards of the German front line. 10am, the first wave left the trenches followed by the second five minutes later. Captain J G Brew. The first wave got through the wire in front of the British positions easily enough, lines having been well cut previously, but by the time they reached the edge of the gully casualties were being taken from machine-gun fire, more especially enfilading from the high ground to the left.

The Ulstermen decided to push on and not wait until the appointed time of 10am and as a result got ahead of their own artillery barrage. Messages failed to get through. Under desperate pressure, the 99/RIR repeatedly called for reinforcements. The Grandcourt Line was severely threatened while on the right there was fighting at the Stuff Redoubt. The German position was critical, the Ulstermen were only 100 yards from Grandcourt. General Von Soden, commanding the 26/Reserve Division, saw the redoubt as the key to events south of the Ancre, while his British counterparts considered Thiepval village more important.

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