Paying respects to the brave South Tynesiders who gave their lives at the Somme

Image from The Battle of The Somme film, 1916.
Image from The Battle of The Somme film, 1916.
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Today marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme – a bloody First World War battle which resulted in more than a million British, Allied and German casualties by the time it ended 141 days later.

Intended to achieve a decisive victory over the Germans, it became a grinding stalemate on battlegrounds that turned into muddy quagmires after torrential rain.

Trench warfare was conducted in cramped and crowded conditions on the Somme.

Trench warfare was conducted in cramped and crowded conditions on the Somme.

Five hundred and sixteen South Tyneside men lost their lives in the conflict.

On the first day alone 20,000 British soldiers lay dead, including 188 from South Tyneside.

Historian Peter Hoy explains that Saturday, July 1, 1916, was the worst ever day in the history of the British Army.

“It suffered over 57,000 casualties, of whom 19,240 were killed in action,” Peter reveals.

British troops negotiate a trench as they go forward in support of an attack during the Battle of the Somme. Pic: PA.

British troops negotiate a trench as they go forward in support of an attack during the Battle of the Somme. Pic: PA.

“One hundred and eighty eight South Tyneside men died that day, 144 of whom have no grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

“Almost half of the men in the 143 battalions, which attacked, became casualties, the equivalent of 75 infantry battalions.

“For every yard of the 16-mile front, from Gommercourt to Montauban, there were two British casualties.

“German losses that day were about 8,000 men, with over 2,000 being taken prisoner.”

Today we pay tribute to those fallen heroes, by listing the names of the South Tyneside men who died on July 1, 1916.

They are:

Private Francis Miller P. (Frank) Cable,

Private Edward Campion,

Private George Carling,

Private Gordon Morris Carling.

Sapper John Henry Cave,

Private William Clark,

Private John Henry Clarkson,

Private Matthew Clasper,

Private Edward Anderson Cockburn,

Private John Connor,

Private John Corkin,

Private George Coyle,

Lance-Corporal James Patrick Coyne,

Private George William Cranson,

Captain Joseph Berkeley Cubey,

Lance-Corporal Peter Cunningham,

Private William Daglish, ‘D’ Company,

Acting Corporal Robert Daley,

Private Robert Thomas Ireland Danby,

Piper Robert Davison,

Lance-Corporal William E. Davison,

Lance-Corporal Richard Davison,

Private Richard Davison,

Private John William Day,

Private Samuel Dix,

Private Francis (Frank) Docherty,

Private James Doran,

Private Benjamin Doyle,

Private Joseph Dugdale,

Private William Duncan,

Corporal John Thomas Percy (Percy) Dunn,

Lance-Corporal Alexander Dunwoodie,

Private William Durkin,

Private Charles Thomas Durrant,

Private Alfred Peacock Eglintine,

Sergeant David Fail, ‘A’ Company,

Private Henry Fairley, ‘D’ Company,

Corporal Ephraim Fenwick,

Private James Findlay,

Private Henry Fletcher,

Private John Forster,

Private George Forster,

Private Charlton Waggett Forster,

Private Thomas Foster,

Private John Thomas Furness,

Private Henry Jabez Gamble,

Private James G. Gardner,

Private Benjamin Garrett,

Private John Tosh Gibson,

Private Edwin Girling,

Private Andrew Gordon,

Private George Robert Grant,

Private John William Gray,

Private John (Jack) Habershaw (or Habbershaw),

Private John Halder,

Private Joseph Lawson Hall,

Private Roger Hall,

Private Thomas Hall, Acting Corporal James Harding,

Private Thomas George Harrison,

Private Joseph Harrison,

Private Edward Harvey,

Private Irving Henderson,

Corporal Herbert (Bertie) Henderson,

Private Robert Henderson,

Private Ernest Henry Heron,

Private John H. Hill,

Acting Corporal Thomas Hilton,

Private William Hollands,

Private John William Hope,

Lance-Corporal Charles Howey,

Private Thomas Hughes,

Private Thomas Forrest Irving,

Private Thomas Irving,

Private Albert Daniel Jackson,

Lance-Corporal Alexander Bone Jaggers,

Corporal Albert Jenkins, ‘A’ Company,

Private Charles Borthwick Johnson,

Private David Johnson,

Private John Thomas Johnson,

Private Alexander Davidson Johnston,

Private James Keenan,

Sergeant George Archer Keltie,

Private James Kirkley,

Private Joseph Lamberton,

Private John Lanahan,

Sapper William Lascelles,

Private Frederick Lascelles,

Private John Lavery,

Private Arthur William E. Lavery,

Private Isaac Laws,

Private Thomas Laws,

Private Ernest Lawson,

Lance-Corporal Robert Lilley,

Lance-Corporal Alfred Madden,

Sergeant Alexander Malcolm,

Lance-Sergeant William Robert Marling,

Lieutenant John Woodhall Marshall,

Private John Joseph Mason,

Lance-Corporal James McAndrew,

Lance-Corporal Michael McColl,

Private Matthew McDonald,

Private William McEwan,

Private John George McGow,

Lance-Corporal Thomas McHugh,

Private Frederick Henry McKenzie,

Private John McMullen,

Private Archibald McNally,

Private D. Metcalf,

Private Charles Ray Metcalfe,

Sapper William Milburn,

Private James Morgan,

Sapper James Mountain,

Private John Nelson,

Private Joseph Warden Newby,

Private James Nichol,

Private Joseph O’Neill,

Private James Oxley,

Lance-Corporal Thomas Park,

Private William John Paulsen,

Private John Robert Pearce,

Private James Phillips,

Private Harry Powell,

Private George Prowse,

Lance-Corporal William Pullen,

Private James Purcell,

Private Robert Ramshaw,

Private David Rees,

Private Robert Newton Renton,

Corporal William Richards,

Lieutenant Frederick Albert Rupp,

Private William Henry Rushton,

Private John William Scott,

Private William Hamilton Scott,

Private John Scullion,

Private Thomas Doig Shearer,

Private Frederick Smeatham,

Private Andrew Peacock Smith,

Corporal Matthew Smithers,

Private Mark Storey,

Acting Corporal John Swanston,

Private Thomas Sweeney,

Private Thomas Swinburne,

Sergeant James Taylor,

Private John Thomas Taylor,

Private Andrew Spoors Telford,

Private 4149, James Temple

Private Norman Tennett,

Lance-Corporal Alfred Terrell,

Private Charles Thompson,

Private Patrick Tinnion,

Sergeant Robert Todd,

Private John Towell,

2nd-Lieutenant Lionel Louis Cleriel Tucker,

Captain Benzil Clive Tate Twentyman,

Private James Watkinson,

Company Quartermaster-Sergeant Henry Milburn Weddle,

Private Arthur Whalley,

Private George William J. Whinney,

Private George Edward White,

2nd-Lieutenant Nathan White,

Private Joseph Hardy Wilkinson,

Private John Williamson,

Private Robert Wilson,

Private John Wilson,

Lance-Corporal Henry (Harry) Wilson,

Private George Edward Youll.

An exhibition commemorating the Somme, and the sacrifice made by the men of South Tyneside, is now being staged on the first floor corridor of South Shields Museum. It will be in place until mid-October.

Meanwhile, the union flag was being lowered to half-mast today at South Shields and Jarrow town halls, as a mark of respect.