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Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt
First Name: Charles Treverbyn Last Name: GILL
Date of Death: 01/07/1916 Lived/Born In: North Kensington
Rank: Second Lieutenant Unit: Manchester22
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Age-26

8, St. Quintin Avenue, North Kensington

Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt


The opening day of the Battle of the Somme 1st July 1916

This was a disastrous day for the British Army in France. Eleven divisions of Fourth Army attacked along a 15 mile front from Maricourt to Serre. Two further divisions of Third Army launched a diversionary attack just to the north of Serre at Gommecourt. For a week beforehand the British artillery pounded the German trenches but the Germans had been there for a long time and they had constructed deep, concrete reinforced shelters beneath their trenches and many survived the bombardment. The troops went over the top at 7.30am but even before they had left their overcrowded trenches, many had been killed or maimed by German artillery. The Germans knew that they were coming. Once in No-Man’s-Land the artillery continued to take its toll and then the machine guns opened up on the advancing British infantry. They fell in their thousands and the attack came to a standstill almost everywhere. Survivors sought cover wherever they could find it and at night they crawled back to their own lines, often dragging a wounded soldier with them. Only in the south were any advances made with the attack on Fricourt and Mametz. Over 19,000 British soldiers were killed on this day, including 2,500 from London. 

On 1st July, 7th Division attacked either side of Fricourt in one of the few attacks where any ground was gained. 91 Brigade attacked on the right of 7th Division with 20 Brigade on their left.  They attacked with 22nd Manchester and 1st South Staffordshire on a 1800 yard front between the Carnoy-Mametz track and the Quarry south of Hidden Wood and crossed the 100-200 yards wide no-man’s land with little loss.  The creeping barrage which was experimental at this stage did not destroy the machine guns in Mametz and Dantzig Alley and this caused heavy casualties among the extended companies as they advanced up the slope of the shoulder of the spur.  By 7.42am they had advanced 700 yards and Cemetery Trench had been rushed by 1st South Staffordshire and at  8am parties of 22nd Manchester had entered Bucket Trench whilst the leading troops of 1st South Staffordshire were entering Mametz where they met half hearted  resistance except for some machine gun posts. Many Germans  surrendered but there was more opposition from west and north of Mametz and from Dantzig Alley and the advance stopped. 

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