Boy Soldiers of the Somme 1st July

By | July 2, 2016

The aftermath of the first day

Boy Soldiers of the Somme 1st July 1916

Boy Soldiers of the Somme 1st of JulyThe 1/6th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (part of the 11th Brigade) were due to attack the Heidenkopt (Quadrilateral redoubt) on the morning of the 1st of July 1916. At 07.20 am the Hawthorn ridge mine exploded about 1,500 yards to the right of their position. The British artillery barrage lifted and the Germans got ready for the coming attack, sweeping the British line with artillery and machine gun fire.

Boy Soldiers of the Somme 1st of JulyAt zero hour the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade and the 1/8th Royal Warwicks attacked the Heidenkopt followed by the 1/6th Royal Warwicks. Both the Rifle Brigade and the Royal Warwicks entered the Heidenkopt and some of the trenches behind. They had suffered heavy casualties from the machine gun fire coming from Serre.  The 1st Hampshire Regiment had attacked the Redan Ridge to their right. Some of the Warwicks and Rifle Brigade reached the Munich Trench which ran south of Serre. Heavy German counter attacks pushed the British troops back to the Heidenkopt, they managed to hold this until noon the next day, when German counter attacks forced them to abandon it. The average the fighting force of a Battalion would have been around 750 men.

Casualties for 1st July 1916 Killed wounded and missing

1st Rifle Brigade. 474    1/8th Royal Warwickshire Reg.  563

1/6th Royal Warwickshire Reg.  472

We remember two of the 1/6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment from that day.

Boy Soldiers of the Somme 1st July 1916

Private 4748.  John James Perkins.   KIA 1st July 1916 aged 16

Son of James Perkins, of 20/24, South Rd., Camp Hill, Birmingham.

Buried, Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps. Grave Reference: I. E. 26.

Private 4438 Henry John Edward Woodward.   KIA 1st July 1916 aged 15

Only son of Mrs. Florence Woodward, of 4, Wordsworth Mansions, West Kensington, London.

Henry’s body was never found. His is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. Pier and Face 9 A 9 B and 10 B. He is believed to be the youngest casualty of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Boy Soldiers of the Somme 1st of July