1st July 1916

At “zero hour” – 7.30am on Saturday 1st July 1916 – officers in the trenches blew whistles and British troops scrambled up ladders along a 14-mile stretch of the Western Front. As instructed, they advanced at a slow, steady pace across No Man’s Land. They were met with a hail of German machine-gun and rifle fire. Accurate German shell barrages of the Allied assembly trenches also cut off their lines of support.

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