On this day, 100 years ago, 1st July 1916, the whistles blew at around 7.30 am and successive waves of troops went “over the top” from their trenches near the River Somme. Many of the British troops had been civilians only 18 months ago. They were “Kitchener’s men” and this was to be their first real experience of battle.
On that day alone there were 57,470 British casualties: 19,240 of those men lost their lives.
Two Deeping men fell in the first hours of 1st July:
Joseph Anstee of West Deeping
Samuel Spratt of Deeping St James
Both men were from the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
On 3rd and 4th July three Market Deeping men, who had been close neighbours in Towngate and Halfleet, also lost their lives:
Walter Hare of Market Deeping
Charles E Rudkin of Market Deeping
Both men fell on 3rd July and were serving in the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment .
Herbert Fisher of the 4th Lincolnshire Regiment fell on 4th July
THE BATTLES OF THE SOMME LASTED FOR 141 DAYS FROM 1ST JULY TO 18TH NOVEMBER AND 10 MORE LOCAL MEN WOULD LOSE THEIR LIVES:
Harry York on 1st August. 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment. Deeping St James
Frederick Mayes on 11th August. 6th Northamptonshire Regiment. Deeping St James
Charles A Harrison on 12th August. 10th Sherwood Foresters Regiment. Market Deeping
Tom R Bee on 29th September. 9th South Staffordshire Regiment . Market Deeping
Alfred A Swift. 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James
Samuel Wilson. 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. Market Deeping
Walter Henfrey. 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James
These 3 men fell on 23rd October
Arthur Moore on 3rd November. 7th Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James
Nathaniel Smith on 14th November. 17th Northumberland Fusiliers. Deeping St James
William Pratt on 18th November – the last day of the battle.
8th Lincolnshire Regiment. Deeping St James
TEN OF THESE MEN HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE AND ARE COMMEMORATED ON THE THIEPVAL MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING OF THE SOMME.
THERE ARE 72,246 NAMES ON THE MEMORIAL.
(This material is based on research undertaken by the Deepings First World War Commemoration Group. Deepings Heritage was a member of that group)
The Deepings Roll of Honour can be viewed on our website:
THREE OF OUR MEN
This photograph of Harry York of Deeping St James has only recently come into our collection. We were delighted to be given permission by the family to use it.
This bronze memorial plaque was the one sent to Charles Rudkin‘s family after the war – it became popularly known as the “Death Penny”. Charles was only 15 when he enlisted – an incorrect date of birth was given, so this made him one of the “boy soldiers” who slipped through the net. He was only 17 when he fell. The discovery of this plaque was made as a result of the weekend exhibition and we appreciate the help given by Charles’ family.
Walter Hare fell on July 3rd and had enlisted on his 18th birthday. His brother served in the war and his twin sister, Florence, joined the WAACs and both survived. Our grateful thanks go their family who helped us in our quest to commemorate our Deeping men.
THE DEEPINGS WILL REMEMBER THEM