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First Name: Clifford Raymond Last Name: BODLE
Date of Death: 07/09/1916 Lived/Born In: East Sheen
Rank: Rifleman Unit: London16
Memorial Site: Putney, St Mary

Current Information:

Age-25

 52, Southdean Gardens, Wimbledon

Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, Somme

 

The Battle of the Somme (July-November, 1916)

By the beginning of September, 1916,  the Battle of the Somme had been raging for two months. Thousands of men had already been killed or wounded or were simply missing, never to be seen again and and just a few square miles of the French countryside, all in the southern part of the battlefield, had been captured from the enemy. Mistakes had been made by the various commanders and would be continued to be made but there was no turning back as the British, Australians, South Africans, New Zealanders and Canadians carried on battering away at the German defences in the hope of a breakthrough, So it continued all the way through to November with nearly every battalion and division then in France being drawn into it at some stage. In the end the German trenches had been pushed back a few more miles along most of the line but the cost in lives had been staggering. By the end of the fighting in November, 1916, British Army casualties numbered over 400,000, killed, wounded and missing.

On 1st July, 1916, 56th (London) Division had been heavily involved during the opening day of the Battle of the Somme when they attacked the German defences at Gommecourt on the northern edge of the battlefield. They remained in that sector until they moved south in the beginning of September and on 6th September they relieved 5th Division on the extreme right of the line, next to the French. This new sector, including the village of Guillemont, had just been captured after many weeks of hard fighting and the artillery war still continued. On 7th September, 16th London of 169 Brigade, moved into trenches to the north-east of Favière Wood near Maricourt and although still a considerable distance from the front line they suffered 14 casualties from shellfire. Seven of these were killed and one of them was Clifford Bodle.

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