Carnage that the Great War wrought

I read your article about The Somme. Arch Elliott, my grandfather was at The Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Thousands and thousands of brave young English soldiers lost their lives for this great country we call England.

To attempt to describe the battle-fields of the Somme is a work of supererogation; those who have seen them will never forget them and those who have not can gain from words alone little conception of what they were really like.

The whole countryside had been reduced by shell fire to a wilderness without verdure or growth of any kind.

Villages were little more than unrecognizable heaps of rubble as if a forest fire had swept over them; the beautiful avenues of trees that had formerly lined the roads had been struck down.

On every side the ground itself was pitted with shell-holes and the soil churned up into an indescribable mass that in wet weather quickly turned to clinging mud; everywhere lay corpses, unburied or perhaps exhumed by shell fire and all the debris of war, barbed, ironstakes, broken rifles, bombs and ammunition, bits of equipment, petrol tins, battered steel helmets, littered the festering earth.

This chapter is from the 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusilers)in The Great War.1914-19.

Johnnie Elliott

Caldbec Hill, Battle