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First Name: Herbert Last Name: CLULEY
Date of Death: 05/07/1916 Lived/Born In: Middlesex
Rank: Private Unit: Middlesex12
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-Old Ford

Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France

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

On 1st July 1916 The British Army launched a massive offensive along a section of the front line running north of the River Somme. The French attacked south of it. The first day was a disaster for the British army which suffered nearly 60,000 casualties, 19,000 of whom were killed, and made hardly any inroads into the enemy lines. But the battle had to go on, if for no other reason than to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun where they had been facing the full onslaught of the powerful German Army. 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 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 , 12th Middlesex were the reserve battalion of 54 Brigade, 18th Division for the attack on Mametz, one of the few successful attacks of the day. They remained in dug-outs whilst the attack went in and at 12.45, they moved up to the jumping off trenches before crossing no-man’s land to the old German front line. The German barrage was weak and inaccurate by now and their casualties were light. The following day they relieved 11th Royal Fusiliers in advanced trenches, south of Caterpillar and Mametz Woods. On 5th July, whilst still in these forward positions, 12th Middlesex were subjected to a heavy artillery bombardment which killed at least 5 men, one of whom was Herbert Cluley.

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