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BRITISH WAR MEDAL 1914-18 : 16/NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS : KILLED IN ACTION FIRST DAY BATTLE OF THE SOMME :

British War Medal 16-631 Cpl. W. BUCHAN, North'd Fus. : (WILLIAM BUCHAN - Born and enlisted at Newcastle-On-Tyne : Entered France with 16th.Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers from 22 November 1915 : He was killed in action on 1 July 1916, the First Day of the Battle of the Somme : The 16th.(Service) Battalion,(Newcastle) Northumberland Fusiliers, a 'Commercials Pals Battalion', was raised at Newcastle in September 1914 by the Newcastle and Gateshead Chamber of Commerce and as part of the 96th.Brigade, 32nd.Division, landed at Boulogne on 22 November 1915 : On the evening of 30 June 1916 the Battalion was on the Somme and moved forward to Aveluy Wood and Black Horse Bridge in preparation for the assault on Thiepval the following morning : Zero hour was set for 07.30 hrs. and when the British barrage lifted 'A' and 'B' Companies rose from their trenches and moved forward in waves : They were instantly met by a hail of fire from enemy machine-guns and rifles : The Germans were seen to be standing upon their parapet and waving to the British Infantry to come forward as they literally scythed them down with their machine-guns : The enemy fire was so intense that the advance was checked and those men that had survived were forced to lie down : 'C' and 'D' Companies then attempted to advance but they too were met with the same murderous fire as they clambered out of their trenches : The majority of 'D' Company were ordered by the Battalion Commander to stand fast, and remain in their trenches : The German artillery then targeted 'no man's land' and caused yet more casualties : The advance finally stalled and by 21.00 hrs., orders were received to commence a withdrawal back to the British line : The failed attack at Thiepval cost the Battalion 378 men killed, with only eight Officers and 279 Other Ranks returning to the bluff at Black Horse Bridge at 1.30 am. on 2 July 1916 : It was noted that, 'The men of the attacking Companies moved forward like one man until the murderous fire of the German machine-guns forced them to halt. Not a man wavered, and after nightfall a Company of 2nd. Royal Irish Fusiliers detailed to bring in the wounded, found in several places, straight lines of ten or twelve dead or badly wounded men as if the Platoon had just been dressed for parade' : The ground over which the Battalion fought on 1 July 1916 is now the location of the Thiepval Memorial : WILLIAM BUCHAN has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial : He was the son of Mr and Mrs William Buchan of 2 Bentinck Place, Newcastle-On-Tyne, and was just 22 years of age at the time of his death : He was also entitled to the 1914-15 Star and Victory Medal 1914-19.) : Sold with verification and copy GWGC. information NEF - £245 **************************************************** See the 1914-15 Star awarded to 16-849 Private JAMES VEITCH LOWES, 16/Northumberland Fusiliers, also killed on 1 July 1916, who was subsequently awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field : Offered in our 'Gallantry Items' section :