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Somme centenary: the Battle of Ancre

16 November 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

Map

Map of the Battle of Ancre. The red lines indicate the trenches, with the thicker lines showing the British and German front lines on 13 November.

Since 1 July, I have been blogging about some of the significant attacks in the Battle of the Somme involving the King’s Liverpool Regiment. This is the final one of the series. Read more…

Somme centenary tweets

11 November 2016 by Laura

Tweet

Our daily tweets included the name, rank, age and when possible, an image of a soldier who had died that day

Every day since the 1 July we have been tweeting to remember the soldiers from the King’s Liverpool Regiment who fought at the Battle of the Somme. Now as we enter the final few days of the Battle’s 100th anniversary we’re bringing our daily tweets to an end. Read more…

Somme centenary: the Battle of Le Transloy

18 October 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

portrait photo of a soldier in uniform

Victoria Cross Winner David Jones was killed on 7 October 1916, before he could receive his award.

The Battle for Guillemont stalled the left flank of the British Army for six weeks in the summer of 1916. September saw a renewed push forward and by the end of the month, the Allies controlled the ground as far as Les Boefs and Gueudecourt.

The War led to tactical and technological advances on both sides and German commanders employed a new tactic, deploying machine guns using existing terrain as cover rather than fixed within their trench system. This strategy enabled them to hold ground with their already depleted forces. As the Allies advanced towards the ridge at Le Transloy, they would soon find out how effective this tactic would be.  Read more…

Somme centenary: the final attack on Guillemont

2 September 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

barren landscape with bare tree trunks stripped of branches and leaves

Guillemont after the September 1916 Somme battles

On 3 September 1916, after four unsuccessful attacks on the village of Guillemont, the British Army, as part of a wider push, launched another assault. Once again, men from the King’s Regiment were involved, this time from the 12th Battalion.

The Battalion had been in and out of the trenches to the west of the village from mid August and had already experienced some casualties. On 3 September, at 12 noon, the Battalion went ‘over the top’ to capture Guillemont. They moved through Trones Wood and across the exposed flat land to the west of the village. Read more…

Somme centenary: the battle for Guillemont continues

9 August 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

rows of gravestones in a cemetary in the French countryside

Guillemont Road Cemetery, where many King’s Regiment soldiers are buried

As night fell on 8 August 1916, a few of the men from the 1st Battalion had escaped the attack and found their way back to the British Front Line. Of the hundreds of men in the battalion, who had gone over the top that morning, only 180 were available to answer their names at roll call. The battle for the village of Guillemont described in yesterday’s blog continued however, as the remaining men of the 8th (Irish) Battalion were still trapped in the village. Read more…

Somme centenary: the third attack on Guillemont 

8 August 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

map of Guillemont, France

This map shows the position of the Territorials and 1st Battalion (marked in blue), in the third attack on the village. The arrows show their proposed movement to their objective lines.

In the early hours of 31 July 1916, after two failed attacks on the Village of Guillemont, the depleted Liverpool Pals Battalions left the Front Line – but the Liverpool story continued. The 55th Division, which replaced them, included the six Territorial Battalions of the King’s Liverpool Regiment. Known as the ‘Liverpool Terriers’, they had all been in action since 1915 and were already experienced in battle.

The third attack on the village was planned for 4.20am on 8 August. Read more…

Centenary of the Somme battles: Attacking Guillemont

26 July 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

Medals and badge of Sergeant Herbert Lawrenson, displayed in the Museum of Liverpool. Herbert, from Smithdown Road, served with the 20th Battalion and was killed on 30 July. His body was never recovered.

Medals and badge of Sergeant Herbert Lawrenson, displayed in the Museum of Liverpool. Herbert (pictured below), from Smithdown Road, served with the 20th Battalion and was killed on 30 July. His body was never recovered.

In my last blog, we left the victorious Pals Battalions in early July 1916, consolidating the ground they had captured around Montauban Village. By the end of July, after three weeks of heavy fighting, the British Front line had moved just 1.6 miles and the Liverpool battalions were now in action just south of Trones Wood. The next objective was to capture Guillemont Village. Although it was just a small farming village, it was well situated with flat land on all sides and had been in German hands for around two years. By 1916, it was heavily fortified and well defended. This made it a key target for British commanders.  Read more…

Commemorating the first day of the Somme

1 July 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

monument with wreaths of poppies

A memorial to the Liverpool and Manchester Pals in Montauban village commemorates their actions on 1 July

In my previous blog I described how the first day of the Somme on 1 July 1916 was a disaster for the Allies, and I could write an entire article about contributing factors, such as the inadequate reconnaissance, the wrong types of ordnance, the tactical mistakes etc. Instead I want to talk about the contribution of the King’s Liverpool Regiment on the day.

The Liverpool Pals (17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Battalions of the King’s Regiment) had formed in the early months of the First World War. They arrived at the Western Front in November 1915, and although they had been involved in some small skirmishes, this was to be their baptism of fire. Read more…

The centenary of the Somme battles

30 June 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

old photo of a young man in uniform

Portrait photograph postcard of Private Harry Grace, King’s Regiment. Written on the reverse, ‘Signaller Harry Grace, Killed in France 1st July 1916, 18th Service K.L.R. “Pals” (2nd Batt).’ Private Harry Grace was a scoutmaster and prominent member of Richmond Baptist Youth Group. He was 19 when he was killed by a shell at the Somme.

One hundred years ago this week, on 1 July 1916, British Forces suffered their worst casualties ever in one single day. Communities all over Britain will come together on Friday 1 July to commemorate the anniversary of what is often called, ‘the bloodiest day in British military history’. At the Museum of Liverpool our latest exhibition First World War: Charity and Liverpool’s Home Front, looks at some of the organisations that were instrumental in helping both the casualties who came home from the war, and also the families of the men who did not.

That first day of the Somme saw 19,240 British men killed in action, a further 40,000 were wounded or taken prisoner. The British front line stretched from Gommecourt to Maricourt – around 18 miles of trenches. South of Maricourt, the French Army held the line. The battle was a tactical one, meant to divert German troops from a much larger battle, being fought against the French further east at Verdun.  Read more…

Family History Day: a very special resource

12 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

An example of a record from the King's Regiment database

An example of a record from the King’s Regiment database

In my last Family History Day blog, I talked about the experts who will be on hand to help our visitors with their research on all sorts of First World War subjects at our First World War family history day. However there is another “star of the show” – the King’s Regiment database. Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.