Somme, 1916

First World War

Date

1 July - 18 November 1916

Geographical parameters

No geographical parameters defined.

Context

A group honour incorporating the “Battle of Albert, 1916”, the “Battle of Bazentin Ridge”, the “Battle of Delville Wood”, the “Battle of Pozières Ridge”, the “Battle of Guillemont”, the “Battle of Ginchy”, the “Battle of Flers-Courcelette”, the “Battle of Thiepval Ridge”, the “Battle of the Transloy Ridges”, the “Battle of the Ancre Heights”, and the “Battle of the Ancre, 1916”, formally entitled “The Battles of The Somme, 1916”, and itself being part of the “Operations on the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916)”Footnote 1.

Description

This Honour “Somme, 1916” was awarded to all units that participated in the whole series of battles that were part of the British offensives on the Somme between the 1st July and the 18th of November 1916. Planned as a large offensive to break German lines astride the Somme River it was a joint French and British attack begun on the 1st July 1916. The breakthrough hoped for on that day never materialised so a series of subsequent attacks continued to be planned on various scales in order to break the German lines. Ground was gradually won at a high cost but the hoped-for breakthrough never materialised in almost six months of fighting. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the first unit of the present day Canadian Armed Forces to be engaged in the Somme offensive on 1 July. It fought there again later in October 1916. Units of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade (Brigadier-General J.E.B. Seely) participated in the fighting in July 1916. The Canadian Corps (Lieutenant-General Sir J.H.G. Byng) joined the fighting on the Somme at the end of August, the newly formed 4th Canadian Division (Major-General Sir D. Watson), not yet part of the Canadian Corps, arriving there in October.

Shrapnel bursting over reserve trench in Canadian lines.

Shrapnel bursting over reserve trench in Canadian lines. September, 1916
Credit: W.I. Castle / Library and Archives Canada / PA-000733 Photographer: (MIKAN no. 3521762)

Major-General Watson

Major-General Watson, the Officer Commanding the 4th Canadian Division. Location unknown. October, 1917.
Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada (MIKAN no. 3222150)

Gen. Sir Sam Hughes

Gen. Sir Sam Hughes (left fore) visiting the Front, talking with Brig.-Gen. Seely (middle fore). Aug. 1916. Location unknown.
Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence/PA-000599Library and Archives Canada/PA-000599; (MIKAN no. 3221015)

Sir Julian Byng

Sir Julian Byng, commanding officer of the Canadian Corps, June 1916-June 1917. Location unknown. May, 1917.
Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada (MIKAN no.3213526)

Awarded to:

Currently Serving Units

Units on the Supplementary Order of Battle

Disbanded units

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