Bottom Wood, Quadrangle Wood, and Mametz Wood
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|Title||Bottom Wood, Quadrangle Wood, and Mametz Wood|
|Notes||A present day view taken from the high ground above Mametz Wood showing the area of the British Army’s actions in the period 4th July 1916 to 12th July 1916. Bottom wood is to the left, Quadrangle Wood in the centre, and Mametz Wood to the right.|
After the capture of Fricourt one of the Army’s next objectives was to take Mametz Wood. This task was to be given to the 38th (Welsh) Division. The poet David Jones was one of the members of one battalion, the 15th Royal Welch Fusiliers. The capture of Mametz Wood was dearly bought. It took the Division from the 7th to the 12th July 1916 to do so and cost them 4000 casualties, including 600 killed.
Preparations for the 38th (Welsh) Division’s attack included the need to take positions adjacent to Mametz Wood and this task fell, in part, to Sassoon’s 1st Royal Welch Fusiliers. Thus on 4th July, and starting from a wood called Bottom Wood on the Contalmaison road, the battalion managed to capture part of the German’s Quadrangle Trench. Later the trench position was extended towards Wood Trench which led into Mametz Wood itself. Sassoon’s Company were occupied in carrying material for the Royal Engineers, but afterwards Sassoon went up to Quadrangle Trench on his own. There he met 2nd Lt. Newton who was holding a bombing post near the entrance to Wood Trench. As enemy fire from Mametz Wood was causing casualties amongst the fusiliers holding Quadrangle Trench, Sassoon decided to take a bag of hand grenades and bomb his way along Wood Trench. In doing so he surprised some 50/60 German soldiers who immediately ran for cover in the relative security of Mametz Wood. For this exploit Sassoon would normally have been recommended for a further decoration, perhaps a Bar to his Military Cross. However, the failure to effect the prompt capture of Mametz Wood did not dispose the Authorities to look favorably on recommendations for awards and Sassoon’s award was disallowed.
|Item Date||10th July 2008|
|Creation place||Somme (Google Maps)|
|Item medium||Digital image|
|Repository name||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|
|Repository address||13 Banbury Road|
|Filename||CXTPROPHOTOS - 65.jpg|
|Copyright||The First World War poetry Digital Archive, University of Oxford|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|