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Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, France Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, France
First Name: Reginald George Last Name: HUMPHREY
Date of Death: 01/08/1916 Lived/Born In: Brentford
Rank: Private Unit: Middlesex17
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Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, France


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

By the beginning of August the Battle of the Somme had been raging for a full month. 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.

2nd Division had reached the battlefield towards the end of July, 1916 and been thrown into the awfulness of the struggle for Delville Wood which had been turned into a hopeless tangle of undergrowth, fallen trees, remains of trenches and dead bodies. On 1st August, 1916, 17th Middlesex of 6 Brigade, 2nd Division, were back from the front line and in support in the village of Montauban or in Montauban Alley, a trench just to the north of the village. Here they were subjected to heavy shelling throughout the day and sustained a number of casualties. One of these was Reginald Humphrey.

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