Gueudecourt (Newfoundland) Memorial
The Gueudecourt Memorial is a Dominion of Newfoundland war memorial that commemorates the actions of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the Battle of Le Transloy, a sub-battle of the Battle of the Somme of World War I. Located about 1-kilometre north-east of Gueudecourt village, the memorial marks the spot where in October 1916, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment played a decisive role in the capture and holding of a German strong-point; the site marks the furthest point of advance from the July 1st starting line of all British units during the Battle of the Somme. Following the huge losses of the First day on the Somme, the Newfoundland Regiment continued to see service, although the regiment remained understrength. After taking on reinforcements, the regiment was back in the front line on 14 July near Auchonvillers; the Newfoundland Regiment along with entirety of the 88th Brigade was transferred to the Ypres Salient on 16 July 1916, which at that time was a quieter portion of the Western Front.
A period of recovery coupled with additional reinforcements would help the regiment return to full strength. After spending ten weeks in the Ypres Salient, the 88th Brigade was temporarily attached to the British 12th Division, holding Gueudecourt. By nightfall on 10 October, the regiment manned a 450-metre section of the trench on the northern outskirts of the village; the attack began at 2:05 pm on 12 October. The regiment advanced in line with the 1st Essex Battalion on their left; the men kept so close to the supporting artillery barrage, that several became casualties from the shrapnel of their own supporting guns. The Germans were compelled by the shelling to remain under cover and as a result were engaged in hand-to-hand fighting. By 2:30 p.m. both assaulting battalions of the 88th Brigade had secured their initial objective, Hilt Trench in the German front line. As the Newfoundlanders advanced to their final objective, Grease Trench some 750 metres from their starting line, heavy machine-gun fire coming from the front and the right flank forced the regiment back to Hilt Trench.
On their left flank, a German counter-attack drove the 1st Essex Battalion back to the outskirts of Gueudecourt, leaving the Newfoundlanders with an open flank. Newfoundland bombing parties cleared and secured the vacated portion of Hilt Trench and as a result doubled the length of the regiment's front line. All ranks began digging in the hard chalk to construct a new firing step and parapet and reverse the former German position. In the late afternoon the expected German counter-attack developed but Newfoundland small arms fire managed to drive off the German attack; the position was held against further assaults and during the night of 12 October, the arrival of a relieving battalion of the 8th Brigade enabled the Royal Newfoundland Regiment to hand over their responsibilities and go into reserve. During the 55 hours that had elapsed since they had entered the trenches on 10 October, the Newfoundland Regiment had suffered 239 casualties, of whom 120 had been killed or died of wounds; the Regiment was one of the few units on the whole of the British Fourth Army front to capture and retain its objective.
The memorial is one of six memorials erected by the Newfoundland government following the First World War. Five were erected in France and Belgium and the sixth at Bowring Park in St. John's, Canada; the memorial is a bronze caribou, the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, standing atop a cairn of Newfoundland granite. The mounds are surrounded by native Newfoundland plants; the Gueudecourt Memorial is situated on the D574 road, about 1-kilometre north-east of the village, on a site, the British front line of 17 November 1916, the final day of the British offensive at the Somme. Visible behind the caribou as seen from the memorial entrance, is a preserved trench line; the area of the memorial was seized by Newfoundland troops from the Germans on 12 October 1916 and marks the farthest point of advance of British units during the Battle of the Somme. Gueudecourt Memorial - Veteran's Affairs Canada
Allonville is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. The commune is situated 3 miles north of Amiens at the D247 junction. Communes of the Somme department INSEE Allonville on the website of Quid Position of Allonville on a French map
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Allenay is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. The commune is situated c. 5 km from the English Channel, on the D19 road and 11 km northeast of Le Tréport on the border of the departments of the Somme and Seine-Maritime. Communes of the Somme department INSEE Allenay on the website of Quid Position of Allenay on a map of France
Ablaincourt-Pressoir is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. The two villages were separately administered, but were joined in 1966. Ablaincourt-Pressoir is found in the Santerre sub-region, where early French Kings made their base, at Noyon; the town is in a strategic position close to the intersections of the A1 Paris-Lille autoroute and the A29 autoroute between Amiens and Saint-Quentin. Two departmental roads meet nearby; the town an international TGV rail station, the Gare TGV Haute-Picardie, nicknamed "The sugar-beet station" named after the predominant crop of the area. AblaincourtAbatix Curtis, Habelini Curtis, Ablani Curtis, Ableni Curia, Abiaucourt, Ablaincort and Ablaincourt, which signifies an abbey. PressoirPressurs or Drêsur. AblaincourtIn 1215, Jean I de Nesle built a castle here. Remains of the motte can still be seen, which marks out the position of the keep. In 1648, possession of the fiefdom of Ablaincourt passed from the Blattepière family to the Mathieu family.
During World War I Ablaincourt et Pressoir were at the centre of the Battle of the Somme. Both communes were ruined by the fighting. 1851 CensusThe 2 communes were still separate. Ablaincourt = Population: 445 inhabitants Pressoir = Population: 144 inhabitants1896 CensusThe 2 communes were still separate. Ablaincourt = Population: 312 inhabitants Pressoir = Population: 106 inhabitants Eloi Driencourt, born in the hamlet of Bovent, doctor of the Sorbonne and for a while, advisor to Louis XV's queen, Maria Leszczyńska, Ludovic Hulin was elected in March 1995 and became the youngest mayor of Ablaincourt-Pressoir, at the age of 28. Reinhard Johannes Sorge, a German Roman Catholic poet and dramatist, died at a First Aid post located at the ruins of Ablaincourt-Pressoir on 20 July 1916. Sorge had been wounded by a hand grenade during the Battle of the Somme. Communes of the Somme department INSEE Ablaincourt-Pressoir on the website of Quid Localisation d'Ablaincourt-Pressoir on a map of France
A barrage is massed artillery fire aimed at points 20–30 yards apart, along one or more lines that can be from a few hundred to several thousand yards long. The lines are 100 yards apart and fire is lifted from one line to the next and one or several lines may be engaged by different firing units; the artillery fires at a continuous steady rate, using high explosive or shrapnel shells. A barrage might be from a few or many batteries, or from a single gun. Barrage fire may be defensive to deny or hamper enemy passage through an area or offensive to provide covering fire that neutralises the enemy in an area through or towards which friendly forces are advancing. Defensive barrages are static. Offensive barrages move forward in front of the advancing troops, the pattern of barrage movement may be creeping, rolling or block. Barrage fire is not aimed at specific targets, it is aimed at areas in which there are known or expected targets, it contrasts with a concentration, in which the guns aim at a specific target in an area 150–250 metres diameter.
The barrage was developed by the British in the Second Boer War. It came to prominence in World War I, notably its use by the British Expeditionary Force and from late 1915 onwards when the British realised that the neutralising effects of artillery to provide covering fire were the key to breaking into defensive positions. By late 1916 the creeping barrage was the standard means of applying artillery fire to support an infantry attack, with the infantry following the advancing barrage as as possible, its employment in this way recognised the importance of artillery fire in neutralizing, rather than destroying, the enemy. It was found that a moving barrage followed by the infantry assault could be far more effective than weeks of preliminary bombardment. Barrages remained in use in World War II and but only as one of a variety of artillery tactics made possible by improvements in predicted fire, target location and communications; the term barrage is and technically incorrectly, used in the popular media for any artillery fire.
The moving barrage was developed during the Boer War, one of several tactical innovations instituted under command of General Redvers Buller. It was a response to Boer defensive positions, notably at Tugela Heights and effective long range rifle fire. Artillery fired over open sights at visible targets, until the Second Boer War when indirect fire started to be used; the largest unit accustomed to firing at a single target was the brigade 18 guns. Trench warfare led to the necessity for indirect firing through the use of observers, more sophisticated artillery fire plans and an scientific approach to gunnery. Gunners had to use complicated calculations to lay the guns. Individual guns were aimed so that their fall of shot was co-ordinated with others to form a pattern; the term “barrage” was first used in World War I in English in the orders for the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915. A lifting barrage was a development in which the barrage lifted periodically to a target further back, such as a second line of trenches.
This was countered by the defenders infiltrating troops and machine guns into no-man's land or the areas between their own trench lines, so it was found necessary to comb the entire area of the advance with artillery fire. A moving barrage was a barrage that lifted in small increments 100 yards every few minutes, so that it moved forward keeping pace with the infantry. British normal practice evolved to fire at two lines simultaneously. Three patterns of advancing the barrage developed. In a creeping barrage, fire moved from one line to the next. In a block barrage, the'block' moved as block to the next lines that were not engaged. In a rolling barrage, the fire on the line nearest to own troops moved to the first unengaged line furthest from own troops. By late 1917, the technique of a creeping barrage had been perfected and could be made to move in complex ways, with the barrage wheeling or combing back and forth across the same ground, to catch the defenders re-emerging after the barrage had passed but it was still governed by a timetable.
For instance, a creeping barrage, too slow would risk friendly fire on one's own advancing troops. After World War I the British developed the "quick barrage", a standardised barrage pattern that could be ordered by radio without advance plotting of the fire plan on a map. A standing barrage was static and might be defensive, to inhibit the movement of enemy troops and break up attacks. A creeping barrage could be made to stand on a line for a time before it moved on waiting for the infantry to form up behind it, or to catch up, or it would stand on the line of known enemy defences, to do more damage and sap enemy morale; the fireplan for the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 called for most of the 18-pounder field guns to fire a creeping barrage of shrapnel ahead of the advance, while the other field guns and 4.5 inch howitzers fired a standing barrage some 700 yards ahead. The standing barrage was aligned with known German positions, lifted to the next target when the advance reached within 400 yards of it.
As each objective was taken by the infantry, the creeping barrage would pause 150–300 yards ahead of them and become a standing barrage, prote
"Mills bomb" is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades. They were the first modern fragmentation grenades used by the British Army and saw widespread use in World War I. William Mills, a hand grenade designer from Sunderland, patented and manufactured the "Mills bomb" at the Mills Munition Factory in Birmingham, England, in 1915; the Mills bomb was inspired by an earlier design by Belgian captain Leon Roland. Roland and Mills were engaged in a patent lawsuit. Col. Arthur Morrow, a New Zealand Wars officer believed aspects of his patent were incorporated into the Mills Bomb; the Mills bomb was adopted by the British Army as its standard hand grenade in 1915, designated the No. 5. The Mills bomb underwent numerous modifications; the No. 23 was a variant of the No. 5 with a rodded base plug which allowed it to be fired from a rifle. This concept evolved further with the No. 36, a variant with a detachable base plate to allow use with a rifle discharger cup. The final variation of the Mills bomb, the No.
36M, was specially designed and waterproofed with shellac for use in the hot climate of Mesopotamia in 1917, but remained in production for many years. By 1918 the No. 5 and No. 23 were declared obsolete and the No. 36 followed in 1932. The Mills was a classic design. According to Mills's notes, the casing was grooved to make it easier to grip and not as an aid to fragmentation, in practice it has been demonstrated that it does not shatter along the segmented lines; the Mills was a defensive grenade (meant to be thrown from behind cover at a target in the open, wounding with fragmentation, as opposed to an offensive grenade, which doesn't fragment, relying on short-ranged blast effect to wound or stun enemy troops without endangering the exposed thrower with fragments, which travel a much longer distance than blast alone. With fragmenting defensive grenades, after throwing the user had to take cover (however, in spite of the designations, "defensive" grenades were used offensively, vice versa.
A competent thrower could manage 15 metres with reasonable accuracy, but the grenade could throw lethal fragments farther than this. The British Home Guard were instructed that the throwing range of the No. 36 was about 30 yards with a danger area of about 100 yds. At first the grenade was fitted with a seven-second fuse, but during combat in the Battle of France in 1940 this delay proved to be too long, giving defenders time to escape the explosion, or to throw the grenade back, was reduced to four seconds; the heavy segmented bodies of "pineapple" type grenades result in an unpredictable pattern of fragmentation. After the Second World War Britain adopted grenades that contained segmented coiled wire in smooth metal casings; the No. 36M Mk. I remained the standard grenade of the British Armed Forces and was manufactured in the UK until 1972, when it was replaced by the L2 series; the 36M remained in service in some parts of the world such as India and Pakistan, where it was manufactured until the early 1980s.
Mills bombs were still being used in combat as as 2004 e.g. the incident which killed US Marine Jason Dunham and wounded two of his comrades. The No. 5 Mk. 1 was the first version. The explosive was filled through a small circular plug on the upper half, the detonator assembly was inserted into the centertube of the mills through the bottom of the grenade body via the baseplug, the striker and spring is held in tension through the middle by the lever, held down on the lugs located on the top of the grenade body via a split pin and ring called the safety pin/ pullring, it was first issued in May 1915 and entered general issue when mass production caught up a year in 1916. The No. 23 Mk. 1, the hand/ rifle-grenade' had a baseplug drilled with a threaded hole for a rifle launching rod. The No. 23 Mk. II had a new style iron baseplug, easier to tighten with the fingers without the need for a spanner.the No. 23 MkIII was a new style body with a larger filler hole plug and more solid lever lugs/ears but retaining the MkII style plug.
The No. 36 Mk. 1 was first introduced in May 1918. It used the No. 23 MkIII body but a new style plug. Made of iron and was drilled and threaded for attaching a metal disk called a gas check that made the grenade launchable from a cup discharger mounted on a rifles muzzle and launched using a balastite blank cartridge; the shellac-coated "Mesopotamian" variant was designed to keep moisture and humidity out of the detonator's fuse. The No. 36M MkI was the British army's standard hand-grenade from the 1930s to 1972. A green band around the middle indicated an Amatol filling, while it indicated a Baratol or Trotyl filling. A pink band around the middle indicates an Alumatol filling. A red band around the base plug on the bottom indicated the detonator was installed and that the grenade was live. Three red Xs along each side indicates; the Mills bomb was developed into a rifle grenade by attaching a metallic rod to its base. This rod-type rifle-grenade had an effective range of about 150 yards; the operating procedure was to insert the Mills bomb rod down the barrel of a standard rifle, put a special blank cartridge in the rifle's chamber, place the rifle stock on the ground pull the Mills bomb's safety pin, releasing the safety spoon and fire the rifle.
If the soldier did not launch the gren