According to Australian historians Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson the five months of the Battle of the Somme, starting 01 July 1916, claimed 432,000 British casualties, of whom probably 150,000 were killed. Volunteer researcher Chris Stupples has added to the current HLF Shaftesbury Remembers the Great War Exhibition the names of 36 men from war memorials in Shaftesbury and the surrounding villages who were killed on the Somme. Sixteen have no known grave and appear among the 72,000 names on the massive Lutyens-designed Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval. One of these, Lance-Corporal Edwin George (Ted) Mullins, a cab driver from Shaftesbury, volunteered in 1915 and would have arrived on the Somme in early September 1916 with the 5th Battalion of the Dorset Regiment, which had seen service at Gallipoli and Egypt. On 26 September, the date given for Ted’s death, the Dorsets were involved in fierce fighting for Mouquet (Mucky) Farm, and Stuff and Zollern Redoubts. All were on the Thiepval Ridge, where there had been a chateau and a village, long since pounded to rubble, and where the Lutyens monument was later inaugurated in 1932.
The next Ancestry Afternoon is at Shaftesbury Library on Friday 29 July from 1.30 to 3.00p.m. Details from Claire Ryley and Ann Symons via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01747 852157.