As the Centenary unfolds, a range of newspaper and other records will appear here to give an idea of how the war was revealed at home primarily focused on Kent for our purposes .... fairly random. If you have other snippets to share, please let us know using the dedicated email account:
The Western Front continued largely "stabilised" from January 1915 to the end of 1916. But assaults and attrition continued to take their toll on our local men; mostly on the Western Front. Of course, we are now in the full swing of the Allied Offensive on the Somme and this month we had three casualties across Kingsdown and Creekside.
Three Kingsdown and Creekside men died during October. Two men came from Lynsted and one from Luddenham.
The Battle of The Somme continued to drag on with significant casualties but without significant change to the front line. Primary actions included the Battle of Transloy Ridges (October 1st to 18th), Ancre Heights (October 1st to 11th). Until November when the Battles of the Somme ended. However, there followed "the Somme winter from October 1916 to February 1917.
October also saw battles across other fronts - Cerna and Monastir, Brasov (Transylvania), 8th Battle of Isonzo (ends 12th October) and 9th Battle of Isonzo begins on 31st October.
Fighting in the air was marked by an aeroplane bringing down the German airship "L-31" at Potters Bar, near London (night of 1st/2nd October).
Fighting at sea included the first German destroyer raid in Dover Straits (night 26th/27th) and British hospital ship "Galeka" was totally wrecked by mine off Havre on 28th October. On 8th October, in the Atlantic, German submarine "U-53" captures and sinks five ships outside Newport (Rhode Island).
The Battle of Verdun continued with the "First Offensive Battle" of Verdun on 24th October (to 18th December). There followed, several months of fighting as German forces had to be diverted away from their seige of Verdun. Consequently, in December, Fort Douaumont was recaptured.
The machinery for the detailed monthly compilation of Military Statistics began in 1916 (October) following the intervention of Lloyd George (then Secretary of State for War). Earlier statistics were somewhat haphazardly recorded. The War Office bound together its War Statistics in March 1922 adding random available data for earlier months.
We have selected statistics quite randomly to shed light on particular aspects of warfare.
Percentages of the Strength by Arms of the Total Strength in September, 1916, and June, 1918, of the Regular and Territorial Forces in France.
|Sept. 1916||June 1918|
|Royal Flying Corps||1.1||-|
|Army Service Corps||10.9||10.09|
|Royal Army Medical Corps||4.1||3.53|
* Includes Labour = 14.84%
Private, George LOMBARDY, G/9718, (of Lynsted)
Lance Corporal, Percy Frederick SMITH, G/22397, (of Lynsted)
16th October - Lynsted Parish Council Minutes "A letter was read from L.G.B. [Local Government Board] postponing election of Councillors for one year."
Reported in the South Eastern Gazette of 17th October 1916: "RURAL COUNCIL. At Wednesday's meeting of this Council for highway business the Surveyor reported that Miss Webster was desirous of re-opening negotiations for the improvement at Cambridge Corner, Lynsted Lane. General Jeffreys suggested that the matter should now be deferred until after the war. The Chairman (Mr. Roper Dixon) pointed out that there had been a lot of accidents at this corner. It was decided that the Surveyor should submit an estimate and that the matter should then be considered."
Private, Herbert Edward COOPER, L/8968, (of Luddenham)