Elegy: the first day on the somme
The Lonsdales wished each other luck and shook hands… they then started to advance, some cheering and singing as if at a football match.
Of the 801 men of the Newfoundland Regiment who went over the top, 266 were killed and 446 wounded. Hardly a family on the island was untouched by the massacre at Beaumont Hamel.
What remained of the 8th and 9th battalions of the Devonshires buried their fallen comrades in the same trench from which they had gone over the top. They erected a wooden memorial in Mansell Copse with the words: ‘The Devonshires held this trench. The Devonshires hold it still.’