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Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, Somme Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, Somme
First Name: Patrick Last Name: SHEENAN
Date of Death: 12/08/1916 Lived/Born In: Harrow Road
Rank: Private Unit: Royal West Surrey (Queens)8
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Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, Somme


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.

24th Division arrived on the Somme during the last week of July, 1916. 8th Royal West Surrey (Queens) of 72 Brigade were kept busy training behind the line at the Sandpits near Meaulte until ordered up to the front line at Arrow Head Copse, facing Guillemont, on 10th August.  The artillery duel on this part of the line was constant and fierce and the Battalion Diary entry for 12th August simply states that the battalion remained in these trenches and that the artillery bombardment was heavy. No doubt it was this that caused the death of Patrick Sheenan.

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