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3 September 1916 - The Irish at the Battles of Guillemont & Ginchy - 100 years ago today

Catalpast

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3 September 1916: The Battles of Guillemont & then Ginchy began on this day. The 16 (Irish) Division of the British Army was deeply involved in both affairs and suffered tremendous casualties as a result.

These two villages were on the extreme right flank of the British Army on the Somme battlefield where they met those of their allies the French. Guillemont and Ginchy lay on spurs, which constricted the British right flank and commanded the ground to the south, in the French Sixth Army area. It was the task of the British 4th Army to clear these devastated villages of their German defenders and remove the threat their possession posed to the Allied Armies. It was tasked to advance up the gradual but perceptible slope that the German Army had so skilfully entrenched and fortified in their attempts to stop their enemies from advancing any further upon their lines.

Most of these villages had fortified blockhouses with them that were interconnected by deep tunnels. To simply overrun these places would not be enough. Usually each had to be taken out one by one with companies of grenadiers much in demand to winkle out or simply destroy the defenders.

A Irish Officer of the 2nd Leinsters who witnessed the attacks upon Guillemont in August described the scene:

“Shell-fire was hellish all afternoon. Box barrages were put down all round and the earth was going up like volcanoes completely smothering us. During a bombardment one developed a craze for two things: water and cigarettes. Few could ever eat under an intense bombardment especially on the Somme, when every now and then a shell would blow pieces of mortality, or complete bodies which had been putrefying in no man’s land and slap into one’s trench.”
Stand To! - A Diary Of The Trenches 1915-1918 by Captain F. C. Hitchcock

Villages were natural fortifications that the engineers of any army sought to fortify when threatened by an enemy. By 1916 the Germans had this down a high degree of skill and any attempt to take one was always going to be a tough nut to crack. Wilfrid Miles noted in the History of the Great War (the British official history, 1938), that the defence of Guillemont in late August and early September was judged by some observers to be the best performance of the war by the German army on the Western Front.

The assault was repeatedly delayed by bad weather but it was agreed to go ahead on September 3rd with the 20th (Light) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division attempting what had been beyond previous attempts.

The men lay down in their shallow trenches from 4am waiting for the assault. The regimental pipers were busy from early morning. They played Brian Boru’s March, The White Cockade, The Wearin’ o’ the Green and A Nation Once Again.

The Irish battalions involved in the Battle of Guillemont were the 7th Leinsters, the 6th Connaught Rangers, the 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers and the 6th Royal Irish Regiment.

The commanding officer of the Connaught Rangers, Lieutenant Colonel John Lenox-Conyngham, was killed as soon as he stood on the parapet to wave his men on. Undaunted, they pressed ahead. Within minutes, the German’s front positions in the village were overrun.

With Guillemont now captured the next objective was the equally hard target of the village of Ginchy. The preparations for attack took a few days to organise but by the morning of the 9th September all was ready - or as ready as it would ever be. The 47 & 48 Brigades of the 16 Irish Division were tasked with taking a lead role in the attack.

The 47th Brigade was understrength going into the assault with around a thousand men ready for battle - roughly about the strength of a single battalion. With four battalions to a brigade it was some task they were been given. To make matters worse due to a **** up they were sent ‘over the top’ just as the Germans launched a counter barrage and to add to their misery they ran right into a nest of German machine guns that cut down many of the survivors.

However the 48th brigade achieved great success. It attacked in two waves, the 1st battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, and 7th battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, led off , with the remaining two battalions following in support. It too was also severely under strength. The RIR also had the indignity of being heavily shelled by British Artillery as they attempted to hold their positions prior to attack. Then the 7th battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, the divisional reserve, was brought up to reinforce the lines and at 4.45pm both battalions attacked.

Second Lieutenant Young of the 7th battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, remembered the scene:

The bombardment was now intense. Our shells bursting in the village of Ginchy made it belch forth smoke like a volcano… We couldn’t run. We advanced at a steady walking pace, stumbling here and there…(a shell) landed in the midst of a bunch of men about seventy yards away on my right. I have a most vivid recollection of seeing a tremendous burst of clay and earth go shooting up into the air—yes, and even parts of human bodies and that when the smoke cleared away there was nothing left. I shall never forget that horrifying spectacle as long as I live.

But terrible as the suffering and sacrifice had been by 5.25pm Ginchy itself was captured and positions secured beyond the village to guard against counter attack. Unfortunately the 48th brigade paid a high price for this success; half the attacking force were casualties.

The 16th (Irish) Division paid a terrible price for its efforts to secure these villages, now reduced to a smudge on the surface of the Earth. Of the nearly 11,000 officers and men who arrived there on September 1st, more than 4,300 were casualties. The number of dead amounted to 1,067.

Today the land of the Somme has long since been re-landscaped to reflect how it looked before the Great War began. There are not that many monuments to commemorate the sacrifices of Irishmen who fell on the Western Front in the War but such is in the village of Guillemont that has one known as the ‘Ginchy Cross’. This monument is a replacement of the original one which is now secured in the War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge Dublin. I had the chance to stand it before it the pouring rain on summers day some years ago. Upon it is written the following words:

1914-1918 - In commemoration of the victories of Guillemont and Ginchy September 3rd and 9th 1916 in memory of those who fell therein and of all Irishmen who gave their lives in the great war. RIP.
 


between the bridges

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Been to Guillemont and iirc there is an Irish St and memorials/plaques to the 16th inside the chapel.
 

owedtojoy

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3 September 1916: The Battles of Guillemont & then Ginchy began on this day. The 16 (Irish) Division of the British Army was deeply involved in both affairs and suffered tremendous casualties as a result.

These two villages were on the extreme right flank of the British Army on the Somme battlefield where they met those of their allies the French. Guillemont and Ginchy lay on spurs, which constricted the British right flank and commanded the ground to the south, in the French Sixth Army area. It was the task of the British 4th Army to clear these devastated villages of their German defenders and remove the threat their possession posed to the Allied Armies. It was tasked to advance up the gradual but perceptible slope that the German Army had so skilfully entrenched and fortified in their attempts to stop their enemies from advancing any further upon their lines.

Most of these villages had fortified blockhouses with them that were interconnected by deep tunnels. To simply overrun these places would not be enough. Usually each had to be taken out one by one with companies of grenadiers much in demand to winkle out or simply destroy the defenders.

A Irish Officer of the 2nd Leinsters who witnessed the attacks upon Guillemont in August described the scene:

“Shell-fire was hellish all afternoon. Box barrages were put down all round and the earth was going up like volcanoes completely smothering us. During a bombardment one developed a craze for two things: water and cigarettes. Few could ever eat under an intense bombardment especially on the Somme, when every now and then a shell would blow pieces of mortality, or complete bodies which had been putrefying in no man’s land and slap into one’s trench.”
Stand To! - A Diary Of The Trenches 1915-1918 by Captain F. C. Hitchcock

Villages were natural fortifications that the engineers of any army sought to fortify when threatened by an enemy. By 1916 the Germans had this down a high degree of skill and any attempt to take one was always going to be a tough nut to crack. Wilfrid Miles noted in the History of the Great War (the British official history, 1938), that the defence of Guillemont in late August and early September was judged by some observers to be the best performance of the war by the German army on the Western Front.

The assault was repeatedly delayed by bad weather but it was agreed to go ahead on September 3rd with the 20th (Light) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division attempting what had been beyond previous attempts.

The men lay down in their shallow trenches from 4am waiting for the assault. The regimental pipers were busy from early morning. They played Brian Boru’s March, The White Cockade, The Wearin’ o’ the Green and A Nation Once Again.

The Irish battalions involved in the Battle of Guillemont were the 7th Leinsters, the 6th Connaught Rangers, the 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers and the 6th Royal Irish Regiment.

The commanding officer of the Connaught Rangers, Lieutenant Colonel John Lenox-Conyngham, was killed as soon as he stood on the parapet to wave his men on. Undaunted, they pressed ahead. Within minutes, the German’s front positions in the village were overrun.

With Guillemont now captured the next objective was the equally hard target of the village of Ginchy. The preparations for attack took a few days to organise but by the morning of the 9th September all was ready - or as ready as it would ever be. The 47 & 48 Brigades of the 16 Irish Division were tasked with taking a lead role in the attack.

The 47th Brigade was understrength going into the assault with around a thousand men ready for battle - roughly about the strength of a single battalion. With four battalions to a brigade it was some task they were been given. To make matters worse due to a **** up they were sent ‘over the top’ just as the Germans launched a counter barrage and to add to their misery they ran right into a nest of German machine guns that cut down many of the survivors.

However the 48th brigade achieved great success. It attacked in two waves, the 1st battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, and 7th battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, led off , with the remaining two battalions following in support. It too was also severely under strength. The RIR also had the indignity of being heavily shelled by British Artillery as they attempted to hold their positions prior to attack. Then the 7th battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, the divisional reserve, was brought up to reinforce the lines and at 4.45pm both battalions attacked.

Second Lieutenant Young of the 7th battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, remembered the scene:

The bombardment was now intense. Our shells bursting in the village of Ginchy made it belch forth smoke like a volcano… We couldn’t run. We advanced at a steady walking pace, stumbling here and there…(a shell) landed in the midst of a bunch of men about seventy yards away on my right. I have a most vivid recollection of seeing a tremendous burst of clay and earth go shooting up into the air—yes, and even parts of human bodies and that when the smoke cleared away there was nothing left. I shall never forget that horrifying spectacle as long as I live.

But terrible as the suffering and sacrifice had been by 5.25pm Ginchy itself was captured and positions secured beyond the village to guard against counter attack. Unfortunately the 48th brigade paid a high price for this success; half the attacking force were casualties.

The 16th (Irish) Division paid a terrible price for its efforts to secure these villages, now reduced to a smudge on the surface of the Earth. Of the nearly 11,000 officers and men who arrived there on September 1st, more than 4,300 were casualties. The number of dead amounted to 1,067.

Today the land of the Somme has long since been re-landscaped to reflect how it looked before the Great War began. There are not that many monuments to commemorate the sacrifices of Irishmen who fell on the Western Front in the War but such is in the village of Guillemont that has one known as the ‘Ginchy Cross’. This monument is a replacement of the original one which is now secured in the War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge Dublin. I had the chance to stand it before it the pouring rain on summers day some years ago. Upon it is written the following words:

1914-1918 - In commemoration of the victories of Guillemont and Ginchy September 3rd and 9th 1916 in memory of those who fell therein and of all Irishmen who gave their lives in the great war. RIP.
Thanks for this.

My brother and myself are doing a Battlefield Tour of the Somme & Ypres later in this month, with a visit to Normandy thrown in for good measure. I know our mother's uncle was in the 16th Irish - he survived the war to later join the IRA.

Can you recommend a good book about this episode of the Somme battle?
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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Thanks for this.

My brother and myself are doing a Battlefield Tour of the Somme & Ypres later in this month, with a visit to Normandy thrown in for good measure. I know our mother's uncle was in the 16th Irish - he survived the war to later join the IRA.

Can you recommend a good book about this episode of the Somme battle?
Pages 204-214 of Gerald Gladden: The Battle of the Somme, a Topographical Guide covers the entire battle, from 30 July to September, in excruciating details. Readily available second-hand (mine was £3.99 in Oxfam), and better — in my view — to (e.g.) Major and Mrs. Holt's Battlefield Guide to the Somme, which is admittedly more pocketable.

I've been trying to scan, .pdf and post the appropriate bits, but my Acrobat Pro just ain't happy with this Epson scanner. Shall I try again?
 

Catalpast

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Thanks for this.

My brother and myself are doing a Battlefield Tour of the Somme & Ypres later in this month, with a visit to Normandy thrown in for good measure. I know our mother's uncle was in the 16th Irish - he survived the war to later join the IRA.

Can you recommend a good book about this episode of the Somme battle?
Try this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Guillemont-Battleground-Europe-Michael-Stedman/dp/0850525918

I have not read it but I have others in that series and they are pretty good
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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The ever-reliable Lyn MacDonald (see pages 225ff) has an anecdote based around the memories of Gunner George Worsley, No. 690452, C Bty., 276th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, 55th Division:
British reconnaissance planes flying with fighter escorts behind the German lines were not allowed to go about their business entirely unmolested but they managed, to a far greater degree than the enemy, to produce vast quantities of photographs of fine definition which, even taken from high altitude, pinpointed with extraordinary accuracy the enemy's supply and ammunition dumps, his transport depots and gun positions, the roads which carried his soldiers to and from the line. The Army cartographers were consequently able to produce maps so finely delineated that the guns were able to range and fire on such targets with a precision that was distinctly disturbing to the Germans. [see my footnote] In a secret report, later captured by British Intelligence, the Germans observed:

It is worthy of remark that our enemy's guns apparently have a much smaller zone of dispersion than our own. He also appears to have better and more accurate data for shooting from the map than we have. This seems to be proved by the fact that, in weather that excludes all possibility of observation, and under conditions very different from those prevailing during previous shoots, he obtains hits on small targets with great accuracy.​

The Germans' answer during the bloody days of August was to keep firing with every gun they had in continuous bombardments – haphazard, but so intense that, raking and ranging methodically back and forth behind the British line, the sheer intensity of the fire-power was bound to wreak destruction somewhere and lower the morale of the British troops as much as it raised the morale of their own men. On one such night of thundering retribution, they scored a hit that sent the morale of C.276 Battery plummeting to the edge of despair.

In the Signallers' dugout a little way behind the guns, George Worsley and Fred Sharples were only twenty yards from the ammunition dump when the shell hit it and if the 2,000 eighteen-pounder shells had gone up in one almighty bang, they would not have lived to tell the tale. It was bad enough that it started a fire.

It was like all hell let loose – an absolute inferno! It was like someone throwing fire crackers into a fire, but multiplied a million times. All the ammunition was exploding in the heat and flying over our heads. There were no officers there and no order was given.

There were three of us stood in a trench and, of course, the top of the trench was crumbling in all the time until our ankles were covered and I screamed at this NCO even though he was a bombardier. I took charge. ‘We'll get killed whatever happens!’ I screamed. ‘We'll be killed whether we stop here or whether we run away. For God's sake, let's be killed trying to get out of it.’ And he said, ‘Right-o, George.’

It was every man for himself. We ran like hell. The dump was blazing, lighting up the sky, and there was nothing else to do but run because, as soon as the Germans spotted it – and you could see it for miles around – all their guns would be trained on it.

There was a young officer staggering round blinded and screaming and, as we ran, I saw our cook – just his head sticking out of the earth where he'd been buried, and he was screaming too. Not that you could hear anything in the terrible roaring of all these explosives, but you could see by men's faces if they were screaming. And you could see that this man had gone stark staring mad by the frenzy in his face.

You couldn't do anything for him. The idea of digging amidst all that would have been sheer lunacy and everyone was running just to get out of it. I didn't expect to get out of it. I didn't expect to be alive a few seconds afterwards. We ran like hell until we were out of range. Then we dropped down and lay on the ground and watched this thing – a great lurid light, lighting up the whole sky. Blazing!

At dawn, when the fire had burnt itself out, the few survivors, sleepless, shocked and white-faced, began to stumble back towards the guns. But there were no guns to be seen and nothing but a few tangles of twisted metal among the smoking debris to hint that a battery had ever stood there. There was no sign of the cook. No sign of the blinded officer. No sign of a single survivor among the mangled bodies in the wreckage.

A little later a visitor arrived. His appearance was strangely incongruous in the blackened desolation of the burnt-out gun sites and contrasted oddly with the tousled looks of the shocked and filthy gunners. It was a warm morning and the Staff Officer was jacketless. His shirt sleeves were neatly rolled up, his breeches immaculately pressed, a cane tucked under his arm. He was clean, newly shaved and looked as if he had enjoyed an excellent breakfast before setting off on the difficult journey up to the gun-line.

He presumed to give us a lecture. Nobody formed up or stood in a line or anything, we just looked at him and I can remember every word he said. He said, ‘Well, men, I can see you've had a terrible night. But you haven't seen the worst of war yet.’ (We looked at each other as if to say, ‘You should have bloody well been here last night!’) He said, ‘It's when you see women and children killed. That's the worst of war. Now, while you're here, I want you to forget about your wives and your sweethearts and your friends. Concentrate on the job in hand, so that, when the time comes for you to march out, those of you who are fortunate enough to be left can march out with your heads held high.’

What a lot of rot! We just exchanged looks. So far as we were concerned, he could have had England for twopence at that moment! By the time we went out of the line, of the original forty-two in our battery, there were only six of us left.​

In the course of the day a few more survivors drifted back. They included the Sergeant who, to Worsley's later chagrin, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for ‘putting the fire out’. New guns were hauled up and dug into fresh positions; new gunners arrived to replace the casualties and later in the day there was a well-meaning attempt to provide the men with a hot meal. Worsley's portion was a mess-tin of what appeared to be warm water with raw mutton fat floating on the top. His stomach, churning with the stench of the dead, revolted. Captain Smith happened to be passing and Worsley, shoving the mess-tin under his nose, snarled, ‘Look at that.’ The Captain took a step back. Worsley followed, remorselessly holding the unsavoury dish under the officer's nostrils. ‘Go on! Look at it! It's not fit for swine. If we have to be killed, for God's sake let us die with something in our bellies.’

It was an extraordinary breach of discipline and protocol, but Smith and Worsley had served together since the beginning of the war. The Captain knew his man, though it was difficult to recognize the young Territorial of two years before in the strained, dishevelled figure who confronted him now. For more than ten days Worsley, like his comrades, had slept – when sleep was possible – in his clothes. Like his comrades, for the past twelve days he had neither loosened his puttees nor undone the laces of his boots. Like his comrades he was at the point of exhaustion and, as Captain Smith doubtless realized, nearing the end of his tether. The Captain nodded sympathetically, looked at the ‘soup’ in the mess-tin and murmured, ‘I'm sorry.’ There was little he could do about it.

Some twenty-five kilometres away, where the King was a guest of honour at a luncheon party at Fourth Army Headquarters at Querrieu, the menu was more elaborate:

MENU
Déjeuner
Oeufs Glacés à la Russe
Poularde Rotie
Viande Froide
Salade
Mousse aux Fraises
Compôte de Framboises
Desserts

The meal had been planned to appeal to the most refined tastes for, besides the King, the party included some senior Commanders of the French Army. In deference to their Gallic appreciation of good food the dishes had been prepared with elaborate care; in deference to the King's wishes, no alcohol was served. At the beginning of the war the King had set an example of sacrifice and abstemiousness to the nation by announcing that neither wine nor spirits would be served at his table until the day of victory. Certain disgruntled courtiers, offered a Hobson's choice of flaccid soft drinks, entertained the ignoble suspicion that the ‘ginger ale’ served to the King bore a strong resemblance to whisky and soda and that the fizz in Queen Mary's ‘fruit cup’ owed more to Champagne than to lemonade. Their disgust was as nothing compared to that of General Joffre when Haig's butler, Shaddock, with as much aplomb as if he had been offering Hock or Chablis, invited him to state his preference for ginger beer or orange juice.
[My footnote:]
Sometime in the past, for the princely sum of £4.99, I acquired Peter Chasseaud's Topography of Armageddon, A British Trench Map Atlas of the Western Front 1914-1918. Plates 146ff cover this area.
 

owedtojoy

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PO'Neill

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3 September 1916: The Battles of Guillemont & then Ginchy began on this day. The 16 (Irish) Division of the British Army was deeply involved in both affairs and suffered tremendous casualties as a result.

These two villages were on the extreme right flank of the British Army on the Somme battlefield where they met those of their allies the French. Guillemont and Ginchy lay on spurs, which constricted the British right flank and commanded the ground to the south, in the French Sixth Army area. It was the task of the British 4th Army to clear these devastated villages of their German defenders and remove the threat their possession posed to the Allied Armies. It was tasked to advance up the gradual but perceptible slope that the German Army had so skilfully entrenched and fortified in their attempts to stop their enemies from advancing any further upon their lines.

Most of these villages had fortified blockhouses with them that were interconnected by deep tunnels. To simply overrun these places would not be enough. Usually each had to be taken out one by one with companies of grenadiers much in demand to winkle out or simply destroy the defenders.

A Irish Officer of the 2nd Leinsters who witnessed the attacks upon Guillemont in August described the scene:

“Shell-fire was hellish all afternoon. Box barrages were put down all round and the earth was going up like volcanoes completely smothering us. During a bombardment one developed a craze for two things: water and cigarettes. Few could ever eat under an intense bombardment especially on the Somme, when every now and then a shell would blow pieces of mortality, or complete bodies which had been putrefying in no man’s land and slap into one’s trench.”
Stand To! - A Diary Of The Trenches 1915-1918 by Captain F. C. Hitchcock

Villages were natural fortifications that the engineers of any army sought to fortify when threatened by an enemy. By 1916 the Germans had this down a high degree of skill and any attempt to take one was always going to be a tough nut to crack. Wilfrid Miles noted in the History of the Great War (the British official history, 1938), that the defence of Guillemont in late August and early September was judged by some observers to be the best performance of the war by the German army on the Western Front.

The assault was repeatedly delayed by bad weather but it was agreed to go ahead on September 3rd with the 20th (Light) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division attempting what had been beyond previous attempts.

The men lay down in their shallow trenches from 4am waiting for the assault. The regimental pipers were busy from early morning. They played Brian Boru’s March, The White Cockade, The Wearin’ o’ the Green and A Nation Once Again.

The Irish battalions involved in the Battle of Guillemont were the 7th Leinsters, the 6th Connaught Rangers, the 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers and the 6th Royal Irish Regiment.

The commanding officer of the Connaught Rangers, Lieutenant Colonel John Lenox-Conyngham, was killed as soon as he stood on the parapet to wave his men on. Undaunted, they pressed ahead. Within minutes, the German’s front positions in the village were overrun.

With Guillemont now captured the next objective was the equally hard target of the village of Ginchy. The preparations for attack took a few days to organise but by the morning of the 9th September all was ready - or as ready as it would ever be. The 47 & 48 Brigades of the 16 Irish Division were tasked with taking a lead role in the attack.

The 47th Brigade was understrength going into the assault with around a thousand men ready for battle - roughly about the strength of a single battalion. With four battalions to a brigade it was some task they were been given. To make matters worse due to a **** up they were sent ‘over the top’ just as the Germans launched a counter barrage and to add to their misery they ran right into a nest of German machine guns that cut down many of the survivors.

However the 48th brigade achieved great success. It attacked in two waves, the 1st battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, and 7th battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, led off , with the remaining two battalions following in support. It too was also severely under strength. The RIR also had the indignity of being heavily shelled by British Artillery as they attempted to hold their positions prior to attack. Then the 7th battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, the divisional reserve, was brought up to reinforce the lines and at 4.45pm both battalions attacked.

Second Lieutenant Young of the 7th battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, remembered the scene:

The bombardment was now intense. Our shells bursting in the village of Ginchy made it belch forth smoke like a volcano… We couldn’t run. We advanced at a steady walking pace, stumbling here and there…(a shell) landed in the midst of a bunch of men about seventy yards away on my right. I have a most vivid recollection of seeing a tremendous burst of clay and earth go shooting up into the air—yes, and even parts of human bodies and that when the smoke cleared away there was nothing left. I shall never forget that horrifying spectacle as long as I live.

But terrible as the suffering and sacrifice had been by 5.25pm Ginchy itself was captured and positions secured beyond the village to guard against counter attack. Unfortunately the 48th brigade paid a high price for this success; half the attacking force were casualties.

The 16th (Irish) Division paid a terrible price for its efforts to secure these villages, now reduced to a smudge on the surface of the Earth. Of the nearly 11,000 officers and men who arrived there on September 1st, more than 4,300 were casualties. The number of dead amounted to 1,067.

Today the land of the Somme has long since been re-landscaped to reflect how it looked before the Great War began. There are not that many monuments to commemorate the sacrifices of Irishmen who fell on the Western Front in the War but such is in the village of Guillemont that has one known as the ‘Ginchy Cross’. This monument is a replacement of the original one which is now secured in the War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge Dublin. I had the chance to stand it before it the pouring rain on summers day some years ago. Upon it is written the following words:

1914-1918 - In commemoration of the victories of Guillemont and Ginchy September 3rd and 9th 1916 in memory of those who fell therein and of all Irishmen who gave their lives in the great war. RIP.
Futile waste of lives under the lies of " fighting for the freedom of small nations ....... home by Xmas ... the war to end all wars ". Glorifying it is the height of imperial pining for the past.
 

Eire1976

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Futile waste of lives under the lies of " fighting for the freedom of small nations ....... home by Xmas ... the war to end all wars ". Glorifying it is the height of imperial pining for the past.
How long till we have Rainfaker and Sarge in to bolster the empire.

Pith helmets at the ready.
 

Ex celt

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Futile waste of lives under the lies of " fighting for the freedom of small nations ....... home by Xmas ... the war to end all wars ". Glorifying it is the height of imperial pining for the past.
Your mates were supporting their gallant allies and obviously didn't feel it was futile or wasteful. Recruitment in Ireland went up after the stab in the back antics of easter 1916.
 

PO'Neill

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Your mates were supporting their gallant allies and obviously didn't feel it was futile or wasteful. Recruitment in Ireland went up after the stab in the back antics of easter 1916.
Really have you a link to show that ? Funny but I thought they had to try and introduce conscription to try to get the Paddy's in and it failed miserably :lol:
 

Ex celt

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Really have you a link to show that ? Funny but I thought they had to try and introduce conscription to try to get the Paddy's in and it failed miserably :lol:
I refuse to engage with a dullard who misuses apostrophes. I bet you wear brown shoes with a dark suit.
 

Catalpast

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Futile waste of lives under the lies of " fighting for the freedom of small nations ....... home by Xmas ... the war to end all wars ". Glorifying it is the height of imperial pining for the past.
I don't think anyone is 'glorifying' it me ol flower.....
 

Ceartgoleor

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Cannon fodder and manure for Flanders fields. Wasted lives, victims of empire physically & psychologically. We can mourn them or pity them whatever takes your fancy.

The men who stayed and died for Ireland on the other hand died not in vain. They died to prevent the slaughter of future Irish slaves in the service of Empire. They guaranteed peace for these future generations, in the South at least, and we should remember for their incredible sacrifice and for the huge debt we owe them.
 

Trampas

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I have never been able to work out why Tom Kettle went. He was an MP in his mid-30s, a barrister, a husband and father and an alcoholic. A biographer suggests that he might have been trying to redeem himself to himself. Complex or what ?
 

Karloff

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This monument is a replacement of the original one which is now secured in the War Memorial Gardens Islandbridge Dublin. I had the chance to stand it before it the pouring rain on summers day some years ago. Upon it is written the following words:

1914-1918 - In commemoration of the victories of Guillemont and Ginchy September 3rd and 9th 1916 in memory of those who fell therein and of all Irishmen who gave their lives in the great war. RIP.
Are you a Unionist Catalpast? I must admit that memorials to British wars do absolutely nothing for me, to me they are alien and foreign. I silently mentally chide those Irish who were foolish enough to join. Just cannon fodder - but it was somebody else's war.

War is a serious business, if you are going to kill a lot of people you damn well better have the best of reasons, it is depraved to do it otherwise. I am not convinced that the Irish who took part in WW1 had any reasons at all. They so cavalierly took to the business of ending others' lives in a foreign land so i find it hard to muster sadness when i read about their own deaths in that same place.
 

Carlos Danger

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That was the day that my Daddy died.
 

Catalpast

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Are you a Unionist Catalpast? I must admit that memorials to British wars do absolutely nothing for me, to me they are alien and foreign. I silently mentally chide those Irish who were foolish enough to join. Just cannon fodder - but it was somebody else's war.

War is a serious business, if you are going to kill a lot of people you damn well better have the best of reasons, it is depraved to do it otherwise. I am not convinced that the Irish who took part in WW1 had any reasons at all. They so cavalierly took to the business of ending others' lives in a foreign land so i find it hard to muster sadness when i read about their own deaths in that same place.
er No ...loike hardly :roll:

Seriously did you actually read the article?

These men were (except for some of the Officer Corps) from Nationalist backgrounds

We may say - with the benefit of hindsight - that their sacrifice was futile - but a sacrifice it nevertheless was

somebody else's war

- well that is the nub of the issue really

- at the time a serious chunk of Nationalist Ireland

- thought that it was 'Our War' too....
 

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