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First Name: Reginald Last Name: FOGLEARDE
Date of Death: 30/09/1916 Lived/Born In: Dartmouth Park
Rank: Private Unit: East Kent (Buffs)7
Memorial Site: Dartmouth Park, St Mary

Current Information:


44, Chetwynd Road, Dartmouth Park

Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt, 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 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.

The village of Thiepval had been a first day objective when the Battle of the Somme began on 1st July, 1916, but two and a half months later it was still in German hands, That all changed on 26th September when an attack by the Reserve Army succeeded in wresting it  from the enemy. 18th Division used 53 and 54 Brigades for this operation with 55 Brigade, which included the 7th East Kent (Buffs) battalion, in reserve. On 28th September, 18th Division continued their attack with their objective this time being the the formidable German stronghold, the Schwaben Redoubt, one thousand yards north of Thiepval. 53 and 54 Brigades met stubborn resistance here and only managed to capture its western and south-western faces. By this time 7th Buffs had moved up  to Crucifix Corner and on the last day of the month they were ordered to standby after an SOS call from the Schwaben redoubt where the enemy had suddenly counter-attacked, driven the defenders back from the southern face and captured the whole of the  western face. Two platoons of 7th Buffs were sent forward to assist but the fire from the Germans was so fierce that they were immediately hit hard and could make no progress up the western face. That evening the rest of the battalion relieved a very weak 8th East Surrey in both Thiepval and those parts of the redoubt that had been captured. By the early morning of 1st October this relief was complete.  7th Buffs now held part of the northern and southern faces of the redoubt while 7th Royal West Kent held the land down to the Ancre.  The situation in the redoubt was very chaotic with different units intermingled and all engaged in a fierce struggle involving close quarter, hand to hand fighting. This lasted until 5th October on which day, 7th Buffs were relieved having suffered over two hundred casualties. One of these was Reginald Foglearde who was killed in action on 30th September.

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