Feature Drama | 1920 | Silent | B/W
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When it was dark a party came out to pull the officer in while I covered them". When later Colonel James told me I got the V.C. A lump came to my throat and I could hardly speak." Close up. On the 30th of July, the runner of the 7th Royal Lancaster Regiment was entrusted with a message of great importance, involving a journey through fireswept and shelterless area. "I look to you, Miller, to bring me a reply at any cost!" salute and off he goes, attacked and wounded in his stomach. Although mortally wounded, this gallant soldier turned back with the reply. For this glorious example of devotion to duty, Private Lewis Miller was awarded the Victoria Cross". On the left of the battle front the Germans still clung tenaciously to the high ground. Trench by trench, they were cleared out. The ANZACS at Pozieres "The British are taking over a German trench, smoke, soldiers escaping from the trench before the tank. One tries to shoot at the tank until it runs over him. At Ginchy, on the 15th September the Coldstreamers attacked. The first two waves were mown down by machine gun and rifle fire. At this critical moment Colonel J V Campbell led his third wave forward to the sound of the huntsman's horn." He blows the horn from the top of the hill and dozens of troops come out of the trenches and run up the hill. Some fall, one, wounded, calls "Come on Lilywhites!" and dies. The Guards followed the Colonel, inspired and he was the first to enter the enemy trenches. Over the barbed wire and under gun fire continuously the progresses. "for his magnificent leadership and supreme personal daring, Colonel Campbell was awarded the coveted cross."
The Map of Advancement. 25th Sept our extreme right flank reported the enemy in Combles is strangely quiet. Patrols were pushed into town at the early hours." British are about to shoot a patrol when they suddenly realize it's the French - great joy of comradeship, handshaking etc. By the 26th Sept, the enemy was thrown back to his fourth line, hopelessly. Our victorious forces could sweep through to a crowning achievement, but it began to rain. 2 soldiers sitting in the rain. By the end of October, troops are digging mud from the trenches. They walk in the mud, carrying equipment. Soldiers struggling in the mud. On October 9th , Piper James Richardson of the 16th Canadian Scottish, piped his company over the hilltop to attack the formidable Regina trench. Despite the murderous fire, Piper Richardson never hesitated. The troops behind him wavered, some dead or wounded and he carried on, striding up and down the enemy parapet. Roused by his example, the Canadians rallied and stormed this important position. Later in the day Piper Richardson was killed but by the award of the Victoria Cross, his gallantry lives forever.
The enemy is still secure. At 5.30pm 13th November, after the appalling losses of Beaumont Hamel and the sinister Y ravine on the 1st July. Germans in the bunkers washing, shaving, haircutting, cleaning their guns "Mud, mud, nothing but damned mud. They're shelling too.". The captain says that the Englanders can't attack again for months. Faint picture of soldiers running down the hillside. The Germans are under attack. "To their eternal honour, the Highlanders had stormed by hand to hand fighting one of the strongest fortresses on the Western front. The Germans surrendered after 17th November (map). This was the last big attack of the Somme offensive as the weather closed down like a curtain upon a glorious tragedy. Troops walking in the flooded trenches. "Until the 24th February 1917 Troops joking The Somme was done. The enemy had abandoned 900 square miles. (Map). The sacrifice had not been in vain. THE END.
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