The attack on the village of BAZENTIN-LE-PETIT….
Battle of Bazentin Ridge, 14-17 July 1916.
Fourth Army planning for a major breakthrough attack on the German second
position in the southern sector of the battlefield began as early as 8 July, when
it was agreed that a dawn assault should be made on the line from Longueval
to Bazentin-le-Petit.
Artillery bombardments began on 11 July and, based on XV Corps report on
wire cutting requirements, bombardment began at 3.20 which, precisely five
minutes later, lifted as near 22,000 British infantry advanced through the light
mist towards the enemy trenches. The German defenders, surprised by the
shortness of the bombardment and proximity of the attacking waves, gave way
and leading British battalions quickly reached the front line and pressed on
The operation was a stunning success resulting in the capture of the German
second position on a front of 6,000 yards. For a time the important position of
High Wood remained open to occupation but delays in getting the cavalry
forward meant that this opportunity was lost. Fighting for Longueval village
continued after 17 July and was intimately connected with the long struggle
for Delville Wood.
During this attack, the 2/Royal Irish Regiment was part of the second wave
and passed through the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment of the
first wave and into the village. The village was held despite extremely heavy
shelling and numerous strong German counter-attacks. Casualties were heavy,
however, with the 2nd Royal Irish suffering some 326 casualties
(killed ,wounded and missing) on this single day of action. Sadly, John was
listed amongst who died on this day. Being posted as ‘missing’, he has no
known grave and is, therefore, listed on the panels of the Thiepval Memorial.


Friday, 14 July, 1916

Event location: 



Village in France. A key location in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.

Stories recorded in this place

My great great grandfather John Maher died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916

My name is Alice and my family story is about John Maher from...