“X” DAY – Somme Bombardment Day 4

“X” Day, Tuesday, 27th June 1916

Weather: Cool and wet, clouds were very low in the early morning, but lifted slightly later. There were occasional showers of rain during the day.

Frederick’s “D” Battery have again fired through the night, and day break brings a cool and wet day.  The men may have preferred to work in cooler conditions, but no one liked the rain.  It is the fourth day of the bombardment, “X” Day, Tuesday, 27th June 1916.  The conditions do not seem to have hampered the shooting and observations of its effects. The howitzers continued to shell many of the same targets from the previous days. The only break in the schedule is for 40 minutes at 5.20am.  The men of “D” Battery toil for another 13 hours, shooting 540 rounds by 9pm at night.


click to see full size, then see bottom right of your screen to re-size images


click to see full size, then see bottom right of your screen to re-size images



The daily report (REPORT 20 – MB129) leads on the all important matter of wire-cutting, giving details of the state of the wire opposite the 2st Division front as found by reconnaissance. There is concern that wire still exists at some crucial points and a warning that long range observation makes for uncertain results. One mortar position has been destroyed but no casualties have been reported today.

For the fourth consecutive night, the 4.5 howitzers of Frederick Buckland’s “D” Battery fire through the night on what are now familiar targets, expending 200 H.E shells between 9.30 pm and the following day break.


A dump of 18 pounder shell cases used in the bomdardment of Fricourt. Extraordinary quantities of ammunition were used in successive bombardments. © IWM (Q 113)


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