It was thought that the Battle of the Somme would be a decisive breakthrough in the First World War, however the German soldiers were ready for the attack and on 1 July 1916 and the British suffered 60,000 casualties of which 20,000 were killed; 60% of all the officers involved on the first day were killed.
At the conclusion of the battle in mid November the Allies had advanced by only 5 miles.
Captain R. Ede England’s watch
This watch is from Wakefield Museums collection. It was worn by Captain R. Ede England Officer commanding D Company, 12th Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry , Miners Pioneers, on 1 July 1916.
D Company were timed to ‘go over the top’ at 7.48 am on the 1 July at the Battle of the Somme, this is the watch that timed that event in the battle.