Faulder Family Genealogy Faulder Family Genealogy

1 July, 2016

On this night 100 years ago (1 July 1916)

On this night 100 years ago (1st July 1916), I believe my grandfather, 2nd Lt Harold Faulder, went into the trenches for the first time in front of Serre on the Somme.

Possibly it might be more correct to say the remains of the trenches; my belief is that his first time in the trenches was to recover the dead and wounded from the day’s fighting.

Prior to June 1916 he had been commissioned into the 3rd battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment and had been based in Sunderland as part of the “Tyne Garrison”. His medal card says he “entered theatre” on 15th June 1916 – which would probably have meant Base Camp at Etaples near the French coast. He was posted to the 14th Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment (The 2nd Barnsley Pals) late in June 1916. He was first mentioned in the battalion’s war diary in an order dated 26 June 1916 (referring to preparations for 1st July). This specified that 2nd Lt Faulder (amongst others) would not take part in the forthcoming action but would be held in reserve with 1st line Transport at Warnimont Wood.

Jon Cooksey, in his book The Barnsley Pals says that those kept back were “those men [around which] the Army would rebuild the battalion should a disaster occur”.¹ I suspect that it was also a means to avoid having parts of the battalion led by inexperienced and un-blooded junior subalterns who had not been with the battalion during May (when it had been training) or in June (when it had been rehearsing the forthcoming attack).

I believe that Harold Faulder took no part in the attack on Serre due to being kept back at Warnimont Wood as part of the reserve and that these were never committed.

Jon Cooksey (in Barnsley Pals) notes that Brigadier-General Rees, temporary commander of the 94th Brigade, resisted “badgering” by Major General Wanless O’Gowan (31st Division Commander) to commit Barnsley Companies as it became obvious that the Brigade  “had met with disaster on a grand scale”.² At the end of the first day Rees believed (of the 94th brigade) that, “he had only 550 men left out of some 2,600 who had been launched into the attack against Serre”.³ The Adjutant of the battalion in his report of the attack states that the commanding officer withdrew two platoons of reinforcements when after personal investigation it was obvious that the trenches to which they had been ordered had been destroyed by German fire.

In a letter sent to my grandmother after my grandfather’s death at Ypres in 1918, Captain Leslie William Johnson (later M.C.) wrote of first meeting my grandfather on the 1st July 1916 and of the splendid work he did all night bringing in the dead and wounded.

Fuller details of my grandfather’s life are in an earlier post. This document is due for revision since finding Captain Johnson’s letter. I am currently attempting to find his descendants in order to obtain copyright clearance – and see if they might have further information.

Hulke 1916, WHB2, attached to 14th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment War Diary 1916  (26 June)

Hutt, 14th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment War Diary, 1916 Account of part taken by the 14th (S) Bn York &  Lanc Rgmt in the attack on Serre, 1st July 1916 

¹ Cooksey, J, (1996 3rd impression), Barnsley Pals, Leo Cooper, London[p. 188]

² ibid [p. 212]

³ ibid [p.226]

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