Ulster tower

Walking the Somme

Where the 36th (Ulster) Division attacked at 7.30 a.m. on the first morning of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, I ate a cheese and onion sandwich and a KitKat. What happened was this. Charging forward from saps dug out into no man’s land from the frontline trenches in Thiepval Wood, the Ulsters overran the enemy’s first, second, third and fourth lines and the formidable Schwaben Redoubt. But the Germans quickly put down a barrage of machine-gun fire across no man’s land preventing reinforcements getting through. Hand-to-hand scrapping in the German trenches continued all day until a weary remnant was pushed back to the original German front line. The