Title - Serre at 7.50am, 1st July 1916

7.20am | 7.30am | 7.40am | 7.50am | 8.00am and later

Map of Serre, 7.50am, 11k

On the extreme left of the attack, some of the 2nd Barnsley Pals - sheltered by the Russian sap which had been dug across No Man's Land - reached the German lines only to find themselves isolated.7 The Sheffield City Battalion remained largely trapped in front of the wire; only on the right - where Lt. Elam was last seen leading a bombing party along a communication trench - was the front line breached to any extent.9 12

On both flanks of the Accrington Pals fighting continued in and beyond the German front line trench. All attempts to bring telephone wires across No Man's Land had failed. Desperate for reinforcements, Capt. Livesey could do no more than send a runner back with a message to Lt-Col. Rickman at battalion headquarters; the message never arrived.13

Shortly after 7.40am, two platoons of "A" Company of the 1st Barnsley Pals were sent forward from Monk Trench to occupy the British front line. Behind them, the battalion's "B" Company under Maj. Guest was ordered forward from Rolland Trench to follow the 4th wave of the Accrington Pals.14

Some of the Accrington Pals - unwittingly in a hopeless position - were now pressing on towards Serre. At 7.50am, an artillery observer reported seeing infantry reach the German 2nd line trench.15

New! Listen (mp3) to machine gunner Stan Bewsher describing to Alf Peacock in 1980 how he was pinned down in front of the German 3rd line:

With thanks to Van Wilson.



© Andrew C Jackson 1999, 2006

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