This article shows the positive spin that was given to what was taking place at Beaumont Hamel, France by the press and government. The papers reported the horrific losses that the Regiment had incurred but also gave the news as being very positive that the Allies were winning the war. This was completed to have the general populace believe in the war and not be against it, as well as to encourage those that had yet to sign up to do so.
The Big Offensive
London, July 5. Heavy fighting continued throughout the night in the neighborhood of the Ancre and the Somme, says an official statement timed 1 p.m., which was given out here to-day. We made further progress at certain points. German artillery has been intensely active in certain sectors in the neighborhood of Thiepval. Two determined attacks on our new trenches were beaten off with loss to the enemy. There were no important developments on the rest of our front.
French Capture Line of German Trenches
Paris, July 5
The French have captured a line of German trenches east of Curlu, the War Office announced to-day. They have also captured Sormont Farm, facing Clery. This indicates that the French are moving eastward along the north bank of the Somme River in their movement toward Peronne in the combined Anglo-French offensive in Picardy. Clery, the most advanced point mentioned, is 1 ½ miles northwest of Peronne.
Whole British Front Bearing Their Part
London July 5
Reuter’s correspondent at Press camp in France points out that not merely twenty miles of main operations, but the whole ninety miles of the British front are bearing their full part of fighting. So well does the enemy know this, says the correspondent, that he dare not transfer a single gun or man from any part of the defensive between the Yser and the Somme, to try to stem the southern push. From the day that the British bombardment began, the knell of German initiative was sounded. An order issued to the German troops and found by British soldiers, continues the correspondent, proves it was known that the British intended to deliver their attack on July 1st, and it was thought that the attack would be directed between Roye and Lille.
Kitchener's New Army
London July 5
Pride in the magnificent showing of Britian’s new armies is mingled with regret for the nation’s heavy losses, in the comments of the morning papers. The Graphic says: “The New Army that Kitchener bequeathed to the country is not composed of professional soldiers, but it has proved itself an army of which any nation might be proud. It is now showing on the battlefields of France the stuff of which the English race is made.”
St. Pierre Bulletin
Paris, July 5
North of the Somme we have renewed our offensive and captured during the night a line of German trenches east of Curlu. South of the Somme our infantry following up their advance in the direction of the River, captured Sermont farm. The whole district between this farm and Hill 63 on the path running from Flaucourt to Barleux is in our hands. During the night after an intense bombardment, the Germans attacked Belloy on Santerre, occupying at first the eastern part of the village, but an offensive return of our troops recaptured every inch of the ground lost. The Germans are still holding on to a part of Estrees where the struggle is very stubborn, but every hostile counter attack has been shattered by our artillery and rifle fire. The total number of non-wounded prisoners taken by us amount to 9,000. The exact number of cannon captured is not yet known but on the front of one of our army corps operating south of the Somme, sixty cannon were counted.
On the left bank of the Meuse, towards the end of the evening an attempt to capture Avocourt redoubt was completely repulsed by our machine guns. Between Avocourt and Hill 304 the Germans attacked with burning liquids, but were repulsed suffering heavy loss. On the left bank was a very fierce bombardment in the Thiaumont and Chenoie Sector.
German Press Comment
London July 5
The Central News correspondent at Amsterdam says that the Frankfurter Zeitung refers to the French advance at Peronne as remarkable and continues: We know we are only at the beginning of the battle. First rushes usually are dangerous but it stands to reason that the introduction of very important reserves by the attacking armies, which is expected to be a certainly, will impose a very heavy task on the defenders. There is no question that the British will attempt to profit in their new offensive by the experience they gained through their failure at the battle of Loos. The Berliner Tageblat correspondent says: Fighting north of the Somme has lessened the prospects of the Entente Allies for a quick and systematic advance. The Volks Zeitung of Cologne, says : In the wildest circles of the German people the felling prevails that if the Allied offensive is held up, Germany will have accomplished a great deal.
Third Line Trenches Reached
Paris July 5
The full force of the French offensive is again being exerted both north and south of the Somme, but principally southward. In this direction the French are now on the outskirts of Peronne, the great railway centre which is their first objective in their effort to cut the German communications. Sarmont farm, which has been taken by the French, is only two miles from Peronne, adjourning its suburban houses. The importance which the Germans attach to this point is shown in their fierce counter attacks on En Santerre, which they held momentarily. This village lies between Assevilers and Estrees, both held by the French so that the German rush temporarily made a dent in the English advance. This dent was quickly straightened out, when fierce hand to hand fighting placed the town again in French hands. The number of German prisoners taken now is close to 10,000, while the extent of munitions captured is shown in the fact that sixty guns were taken by a single army corps.
In the meantime the movement north of the Somme is necessarily retarded in order that the French left wing may act simultaneously with the British left wing. The British have been facing extremely heavy resistance. Large German reinforcements hurried forward all day yesterday by the Cologne- Cambriae railway which runs to the very centre of the German front, were attacked by the British and stubborn resistance all along this front, prevents the British from keeping pace with the French advance south. The tenacity with which the Germans are holding their positions in the face of the British attack, particularly around La Boisselle, while the French menace Peronne, which is comparatively neglecting, leads to the belief that the military authorities of the Germans are chiefly concerned in breaking the British offensive even at the sacrifice of some ground to the south. The French have now, in some places, pushed through to the third and last line of German defenses as they existed before the attack begun. The Germans are hastily constructing a new line, but are manifestly unable to make it as strong as the three lines perfected after twenty months of labour.
Source: The Evening Telegram,