By Gerald Gliddon

The conflict of the Somme, which lasted from 1 July to 18 November 1916, is remembered as probably the most awful and tragic battles of the 1st international struggle. at the first day by myself approximately 19,000 British troops have been killed - the best one-day loss within the heritage of the British military. through November the dying toll from the armies of england, France and Germany had risen to over 1000000. This ebook tells the tales of fifty-one infantrymen from the Commonwealth and Empire armies whose bravery at the battlefield was once rewarded by means of the Victoria go, the top army honour - males like deepest Billy McFadzean, who used to be blown up through grenades which he smothered on the way to keep the lives of his comrades, and personal 'Todger' Jones, who single-handedly rounded up 102 German squaddies. not just will we research of heroic endeavours of those males on the peak of conflict, yet we additionally learn in their lives prior to 1914, starting from the backstreets of Glasgow to a rustic apartment in Cheshire, and of what existence was once like after the struggle for the thirty-three survivors.

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The day had long gone good for the Allies and the British had complex over 2,000 yards and for this reason Combles fell with out the need of a right away assault. The Cheshires have been relieved at the following day and back to Oxford Copse, their casualties were one hundred forty four and the battalion left for the Bethune district on 1 October. Thomas Jones’ quotation was once released on 26 October 1916 and browse as follows: for many conspicuous bravery. He used to be along with his corporation consolidating the defences in entrance of a village, and, noticing an enemy sniper at 2 hundred yards distance, he went out, and, even though one bullet went via his helmet, and one other via his coat, he again the sniper’s fireplace and killed him. He then observed extra of the enemy firing at him, even though exhibiting a white flag. either one of those he additionally shot. On attaining the enemy trench he discovered numerous occupied dug-outs, and, single-handed, disarmed 102 of the enemy, together with 3 or 4 officials, and marched them again to our strains via a heavy barrage. He have been warned of the misuse of the white flag by way of the enemy, yet insisted on going out after them. Jones was once provided together with his VC via the King at Buckingham Palace on 18 November 1916. Thomas Alfred Jones used to be the son of Edward and Elizabeth Jones and was once the couple’s 6th baby. He was once born on Christmas Day 1880 at 39 Princess highway, Runcorn, Cheshire. His father used to be a labourer on the Hazelhurst cleaning soap works the place he labored for sixty-two years. initially the family members had moved from Wales to hunt employment within the neighborhood chemical industries and in his spare time Edward used to be additionally a neighborhood preacher and a volunteer with the Oddfellows & pleasant Society. His son Thomas attended the previous Runcorn nationwide institution at Church road in a construction which was once later knocked down in 1976 yet then rebuilt. He left institution in 1894 and integrated billiards and soccer among his recreations. He used to be an outstanding ‘dribbler’ of a soccer, a descriptive notice which was once later tailored to ‘Dodger’ after which ‘Todger’, which he used to be caught with for the remainder of his lifestyles. In 1900 Jones joined the neighborhood Runcorn Volunteer battalion of the Earl of Chester’s Rifles and obviously had a ‘ reliable eye’ as he grew to become a crack rifle shot. The younger guy spent 8 years with the Volunteers and 4 with the Terriers. In 1913 Jones turned one of many first males from Runcorn to hitch the nationwide Reserve. by means of exchange he were a more fit and began paintings at Hazlehursts as a more healthy and turner. After the final touch of his apprenticeship he had long gone to paintings with the Salt Union corporation at their works at Weston aspect, Runcorn. while warfare broke out in 1914 Jones used to be the second one guy to enlist with the first Battalion of the twenty second (Cheshire) Regiment, which he did on five August at Runcorn Drill corridor. The volunteers have been then despatched to Birkenhead for education and directly to Codford in Wiltshire. After leaving for France and arriving at Le Havre on sixteen August, the first Cheshires’ carrier incorporated l. a. Bassee in October and Hill 60 in April and will 1915. After leaving the Western entrance in December 1915 the battalion back to France and Flanders for a year’s responsibility among July 1916 and July 1917.

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