(Battle of Albert 1st - 13th July 1916)
The official name for the British efforts during the first two weeks fighting
of the battle of the Somme.
The Battle of the Somme (1 July-18 November 1916) was a joint operation between British and French forces intended to achieve a victory over the Germans on the Western Front. This battle remains the most painful and infamous episode of the First World War.
Battle of Albert 1 - 13th July 1916, is the official name for the British efforts during the first two weeks fighting of the battle of the Somme. As such it includes the first day of the Somme, the most costly day in British military history with over 420,000 casualties including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone of which 19,240 British soldiers were killed. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000. The Battle of the Somme was the battle that symbolised the horrors of warfare in world war one.
The Somme, has a prominent place in British history and our memory.
Historically Important Bronze Memorial Plaque
Rifleman Norman Vivian Cowling 301315
1/5th Battalion London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade).
killed in action on the 1st day of The Battle of the Somme 01/07/1916, aged 23
Bronze Memorial Plaque to Private Norman Vivian Cowling, 1/5th Battalion London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), a former Electric Lamp Dealers Clerk originally from Brixton, London. Serving in France from 13th October 1915 he was killed in action 1st July 1916 the First Day of the Somme offensive aged 23 years.
Vivian Cowling was born in Brixton in 1893. The 1911 census
records he is a 17 year old Electric Lamp Dealer’s Clerk
residing with his father Richard James Cowling an Insurance
Clerk, mother Amelia Elizabeth and elder sister Violet. Residing
at Denmark Hill when he enlisted, he served in France from 13th
October 1915. Killed in action 1st July 1916 the First Day of
the Somme offensive aged 23 years. The 1/5th Battalion were part of 169th Brigade 56th (1st London) Division and were on the left of the Division’s unsuccessful attack on Gommecourt on 1st July 1916.
The strength of the Battalion before the attack stood at 23
officers and 803 other ranks, at 1700 that evening after
returning to the British lines the Battalion unwounded survivors
numbered 89 all ranks.
2/Lieutenant R E Petley 1/5th London Regiment recalls –
‘At the time of the assault it was really magnificent the way every man, cool and collected, strolled out through quite a stiff barrage to the tape I had laid down 150 yards out during the night. The smoke lifted for a few seconds when we were out and I noticed men were inclined to bunch on the right. I shouted an order and they shook out as if on Wimbledon Common. The first wave got straight to our objective ECKE without much trouble. We got our wire out and started to consolidate almost immediately. It soon became evident the Huns were bombing uncomfortably near to us on our right, making a barricade we were able to hold the enemy back. At 1630 I was given verbal orders to withdraw. We had about four different enemy bombing parties to hold off as we made our withdrawal. We arrived at the old German front trench where we met the remnants of ‘C’ and ‘D’ companies, we continued to withdraw to our own lines’.
Norman Vivian Cowling is commemorated by name on the Thiepval Memorial, the family were residing at 68 Copleston Road, East Dulwich at the time of his death.
Born Raymond Frederick Phillips Cleveland, 9th June 1895 at Islington, London, Son of Frederick Montgomery Cleveland and Jeannie Cleveland née Wight of 23 St Winifreds Road, Teddington, Lived at 21 Raleigh Road, Richmond and 5 Tennyson Road, Leyton, Essex. Enlisted Wandsworth, Surrey.
Important Bronze Memorial Plaque
Private Aubrey Benniston 12/593
12th Sheffield City Battalion York & Lancashire Regiment.
killed in action on the 1st day of The Battle of the Somme 01/07/1916, aged 25
Bronze Memorial Plaque to Private Aubrey Benniston, 12th Sheffield City Battalion
York & Lancashire Regiment.
Aubrey Benniston was born in York Sheffield in 1892. The 1911 census records he is a 19 year old Clerk in a Bank, residing with his father James Benniston a Director of a confectionery company, mother Fanny Benniston, elder sister Olive (25) elder brothers Frank (24) and Kenneth (22). Residing at 308 Western Bank Sheffield York, Also recorded on the census was a live in Servant.
On the 21/05/1916 Transferred to 94th Field Ambulance with German measles, returned to action 04/06/1916.
He served in France from 13th October 1915. He was killed in action during disastrous attack on Serre, 1st July 1916 the First Day of the Somme offensive aged 25.
Serre was one of the strongly fortified villages held by the Germans at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. The village, about five miles north of Albert, marked the most northern point of the main attack on the 1st of July 1916.
The name of Serre has come to be linked closely with several of the 'Pals' battalions, which suffered very heavy losses in the attacks made here. The Pals battalions were part of Kitchener's Army, and they were formed in specific towns or cities, where battalions were raised following the call to arms. As many of those who enlisted were friends, colleagues or relations, the idea was that by enlisting together in the local Pals battalions they would stay together during their service.
The casualty lists that came back after the 1st of July 1916 devastated some of the communities which had sent these Pals battalions. As friends, colleagues and relations had joined up together, so they often died together, and families, streets and whole communities grieved together when the telegrams arrived.
Private James Rushton G/11355
2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment).
Boy Soldier Gallipoli veteran, Landed in Gallipoli 16/6/15 at only 17 years old.
Killed in action on the 4th day of The Battle of the Somme 04/07/1916, aged 18
Bronze Memorial Plaque and trio of medals to Private James Rushton G/11355 of the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment). Before enlisting James was an errand boy living with his parents William & Emma Rushton, residing at No. 1 Enderley street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, James enlisted in Newcastle, he landed in Gallipoli on the 16/05/15 he was evacuated to Egypt January 1916, Landed at Marseilles France March 1916. James Survived the 1st day of the battle of the Somme at Hawthorn Ridge, but sadly was killed in action on the 4th July 1916 the Fourth Day of the Somme offensive aged 18 years. He is commemorated by name on the Thiepval Memorial.
James Rushton was born in Silverdale in 1898. His date of birth is listed as the first quarter of 1898, The 1911 census records him as a 13 year old errand boy, residing at 43 Hatrell St, Newcastle, Staffordshire with his father William Rushton a labourer, mother Emma Rushton, elder brother David a Tram conductor & sister Florrie, younger sisters Mary & Louisa and young brother Joseph.
Princess Mary Christmas 1914 Gift tin Complete
The Princess Mary Gift Fund box is an embossed brass box, and this one is in lovely condition unpolished and complete with its original 20 Cigarettes & Tobacco packs, Cigarette pack open but all there, Christmas Card/envelope & Photograph of Princess Mary. There is also a 1914 Queen Mary & King George in Army uniform with a Christmas card with message on the reverse, and a scarce Bullet Pencil Monogrammed 1909 MkVI case by Royal Laboratories with sharpened pencil. Mary monogram is lightly but clearly struck on this example. Nice Patina,
It was Princess Mary's express wish that 'every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front' should have the present. The gifts were devised in October 1914 and intended for distribution to all who were serving overseas or at sea, in time for Christmas 1914; afterwards, with the fund in surplus and many feeling they had been ‘left out’, distribution was extended more widely – to all who were serving, whether at home or abroad, and to prisoners of war and the next of kin of 1914 casualties. This widened eligibility to an estimated figure of 2,620,019.
Using an issued 1903 Pattern belt, this souvenir belt of the WW1 Tommy features a number of British cap badges, collar dogs, buttons and rank badges. All of have been carefully attached and secured onto a manufacturer marked belt, The Blackman Leather Goods Ltd. 173 Bermondsey St. SE 1. has a great patina.
A superb WW1 artillery shell being the famous 18 Pounder used extensively by British forces in WW1. Marked to the body ' IX 18Pr VSMW 9 17 '. VSM denotes the manufacturer Vickers , Sons & Maxim & ' 9 17 ' the date September 1917. Comes with brass fuse which can be stripped down completely.
‘On War Service’ badge Group with Certificate & photo
This is interesting group as it has its original certificate that would have accompanied all badges when issued,
this badge is named to George Bott who was employed by Thomas Cox Ltd, his number was 81544 and this is repeated on the back of the badge which was made by Gaunt of London, also with it is a photograph of George proudly sporting his badge.
These small, metal pin badges were worn by civilians during the First World War in order to indicate that the person wearing it was on engaged in important war-work. Several of these badges were officially produced and distributed nationally but many more were produced privately by employing companies to support their employees.
Before conscription was introduced in 1916, the army relied on voluntary recruitment. It was assumed by many that a man not in uniform was avoiding joining up and was therefore often accused of shirking their duty to their country. The famous white feather campaign saw men not in uniform presented with a white feather as a symbol of cowardice.
WW1 No:5 Mill grenade
The body has a shield logo, the maker made by Castings Ltd, Selbourne Street, Walsall England.
The Mills was a classic design; a grooved cast iron "pineapple" with a central striker held by a close hand lever and secured with a pin. According to Mills's notes, the casing was grooved to make it easier to grip and not as an aid to fragmentation, and in practice it has been demonstrated that it does not shatter along the segmented lines. The Mills was a defensive grenade: after throwing the user had to take cover immediately. A competent thrower could manage 15 metres (49 feet) with reasonable accuracy, but the grenade could throw lethal fragments farther than this. The British Home Guard were instructed that the throwing range of the No. 36 was about 30 yards with a danger area of about 100 yds.
Original WWI Hindoostan Leicestershire Regiment Cap Badge.
Very nice WW1 Hindoostan Leicestershire Cap Badge. Metal badge, with slider to reverse.
The emblem of the Royal Tiger and 'Hindoostan' was awarded to the regiment in 1825 in recognition of its service in India from 1804 to 1823.
In the First World War, the regiment increased from five to nineteen battalions which served in France and Flanders,
The 1st Battalion suffered terrible losses at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.