6th Battalion, Royal Berks
1st July 1916
 
 


Trench Map - German Lines, Carnoy

This map shows part of the eastern area of 18th Division's sector including the lines assaulted by 6th Bn., Royal Berkshire Regiment on 1st July, 1916 - the opening day of the Somme offensive.

The 6th Berkshires, part of 53rd Brigade, were located opposite Bay Trench/Casino Point/Mine Trench, with the 8th Norfolk Btn., also part of 53rd Bge, on their immediate right (on the Norfolk's right were, in turn, the 7th Queens and 8th East Surreys). On the Royal Berkshires left were the 7th Bedfords, of 54th Bge. The 6th Royal Berks. objectives for the 1st July were to assault and take Mine, Bund and Pommiers Trenches and then capture and consolidate Montauban Alley and establish positions overlooking Caterpillar Wood. Please note that Caterpillar Wood is slightly to the north of this map and hence not shown. The following is a summary of the salient events of the day:

7.28 a.m. - First wave advancing into No Man's Land and suffering heavy casualties from machine guns in CASINO POINT when mine placed under C.P. explodes. Falling debris causes many casualties but C.P. completely destroyed.

7.30 a.m. - MINE TRENCH and CASINO POINT taken by first wave.

7.32 a.m. - Second wave advances from forming up point in No Man's Land.

7.35 a.m. - Third wave advances into No Man's Land.

7.50 - 9.30 a.m. - First Wave reaches POMMIERS TRENCH having suffered heavy casualties. POMMIERS REDOUBT continues to be bombarded. Units start bombing (grenading) up POPOFF LANE. Right flank of 6th Berks. becomes exposed as 8th Norfolk's on their right are held up at THE LOOP. This position also causing heavy casualties among the Berkshires.

9.30 - 10.40 a.m. POMMIERS REDOUBT assualted and taken. Berkshires advance towards final objective of MONTAUBAN ALLEY. Norfolks still held up at THE LOOP. Units of the Berkshires protect their flank and start advancing up LOOP TRENCH in the face of heavy opposition. Units also advancing up MONTAUBAN ALLEY.

10.40 a.m. - 12.50 p.m. - THE LOOP taken by Norfolks, who are now held up at BACK TRENCH and BOCHE TRENCH. Slow progress by Berks. bombing up LOOP TRENCH and MONTAUBAN ALLEY.

12.50 Half of MONTAUBAN ALLEY taken. LOOP TRENCH taken as far as MONTUABAN - MAMETZ ROAD. 10th Essex Bn. in reserve requested to send reinforcements to LOOP TRENCH.

1.30 - 3.15 p.m. - Norfolks still held up leaving right flank exposed. Desperate resistance encountered in LOOP TRENCH. Norfolks catch up on right but fail to advance further.

3.20 p.m. - Essex bombers arrive and are sent to MONTUABAN ALLEY.

4.00 p.m. - Appreciable advance in MONTAUBAN ALLEY. Stokes guns sent to support attack at LOOP TRENCH.

4.50 p.m. - Brigade report rebombardment of CATERPILLAR TRENCH (just north of map and so not shown) and MONTAUBAN ALLEY. This is urgently requested to be cancelled owing to good progress being made by bombing parties.

5.40 p.m. - MONTAUBAN ALLEY and LOOP TRENCH taken.

5.45 p.m. - LOOP TRENCH handed over to Norfolks who are advised to bomb up CATERPILLAR TRENCH.

6.30 p.m. - Final objective reached. Consolidation of positions continuing well.

8.30 p.m. - Heavy shelling of POMMIERS REDOUBT and MONTAUBAN ALLEY. Strong points completed.

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