Affected by War
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This project is collaboration between Cheshire East and Older People, Middlewich Town Council and the Middlewich Royal British Legion. The project was largely funded by Cheshire East Council with further funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Middlewich Town Council.
Although this section looks at the affect of Great War as a whole it may help to appreciate why so many people were affected if we consider one of most well known battles of war:

Somme July 1st 1916

The battle of the Somme must rank as the most disastrous in the history of the British Army, the 1st of July 1916 was the day that turned no man’s land into a scene of indescribable horror and carnage.

There were 3 major faults in the British strategy to overwhelm the German forces. Firstly, a continuous bombardment of the German lines for 7 days prior to 1st July was designed to destroy the ranks of barbed wire trenches and to inflict as many losses as possible. It did neither. The wire remained intact and the German troops simply went deeper underground. Secondly, the British generals assumed that the Germans were unaware of the allied plan, in spite of the fact that over 1.5 million shells had been dropped on the German Lines followed by a series of mines being detonated totalling 30 tons of dynamite. The blowing of whistles meant that a frontal infantry attack was imminent, the several minutes gap between the shelling ceasing and the British soldiers advancing gave the German machine gunners time to scramble out of their bunkers and wait for British troops to try and get through the barbed wire. The troops had added difficulty with ground conditions after shelling and each man was carrying with him a lot of equipment. The British attacked in large numbers, they were cut down by continuous machine gun fire in a short time. No man’s land became an area of the dead, dying, partially and seriously wounded men. It was impossible to rescue them during the day, and the wounded men that could move raised their rifles in the air, this was seen by the German snipers and they began to pick them off at will. 57,470 British soldiers died on 1st July 1916 alone.
The Battle of the Somme continued until 18th Nov by which time both sides had lost a combined total of 1 million including 300,000 killed. Of the British Troops, 72,000 including our allies were lost without trace and commemorated on the Theipual memorial. The saying that “War is for the purpose of killing people” was certainly achieved from 1st July to 18th November 1916.

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