First World War Project

Home News - July 1916

Stabilised Front in Europe 1914/1915

The Western Front continued largely "stabilised" from January 1915 to the end of 1916. But assaults continued to take their toll on our local men; mostly on the Western Front. Five Casualties for Kingsdown and Creekside Cluster this month.

Four local men died on the opening day of the Battle of The Somme - 1st July. Two from Lynsted Parish, one from Doddington and one more from Newnham. The fifth casualty, from Norton Parish on 4th July, was a case of mental trauma, discharge and physical decline and premature death at Home.

The Battle of The Somme was the most notable event for the British military after a prolonged period of limited strategic fighting. The simultaneous Russian action (Battle of Baranovichi, 2nd-9th July) was overturned by Germany, in spite of a six-fold numerical superiority of Russian forces). The Allied leadership hoped that rapid progress would break the deadlock and draw the German forces away from Verdun. The Somme opened with the Battle of Albert (1st-13th July). On 14th July, the second battle on the Somme opened with the Battle of Bazentin Ridge, ending on 17th. On 23rd, the Battle of Pozières Ridge opened (and closed on 3rd September).

In spite of the carnage experienced by Britain, this was not the most costly battle for our local communities - that was later, at Arras.

In the air, the first aerial operations carried out by combined French and British air services on the French Western front.

At sea, the German commercial submarine "Deutschland" arrives at Norfolk, Virginia. Captain Fryatt, merchant navy, was executed by a German court martial in Belgium (27th July - read the story as a PDF download). Seaham Harbour, County Durham was shelled by a German submarine.

The Battle of Verdun continued to place the French Army resources under tremendous mortal strain - with heavy casualties on both sides. Although the Battle of The Somme lent some relief.


The machinery for the detailed monthly compilation of Military Statistics did not take place until later in 1916 (October) after the intervention of Lloyd George (then Secretary of State for War). Statistics up until then were somewhat haphazardly recorded. However, the War Office bound together those War Statistics in March 1922 adding available data for earlier months.

The Somme offensive resources expended compared with 1918 offensive resources (munitions):

Stocks of Gun Ammunition at the time of Somme Offensive, 1916, as compared with stocks at the time of the Offensive of 1918
9th July, 1916
9th February, 1918
In France
At home
In France
At Home
13-pr. 6-cwt.
13-pr. 9-cwt.
3-inch 5-cwt.
3-inch 20-cwt.
4 - 18-pr.
6 - 4.5 inch
4.7 inch
6 inch howitzer
6 inch B.L. gun
8 inch howitzer
9.2 inch howitzer
9.2 inch gun
12 inch howitzer
15 inch howitzer
Grand total 7,658,809 27,755,775
Increase of 262 per cent.
* Includes Home Defence † Excludes Home Defences

Equally, the carnage of key battles can be measured in the ammunition expended.

Comparative Statement showing the Gun Ammunition expended by the British Army in France during certain Periods of Intensive Fighting
Battles Periods Approximate Expenditure
Rounds Tons
Somme 26th June to 9th July, 1916
Arras 9th April to 16th May, 1917
Messines 3rd June to 10th June, 1917
3rd Battle of Ypres 30th July to 7th October, 1917
(Average weekly)
(Average weekly)
Autumn Offensive 18th August to 27th October, 1918
(Average weekly)
(Average weekly)


In July 1916, there were 730 aeroplanes were active in support of the Expeditionary Force. The wastage during the month was 148.

† - Thirty-third Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 1st July 1916; on opening of The Battle of The Somme

Lance Corporal, Leon Lorden ACKERMAN (of Lynsted), Killed in Action aged 32 years
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 5D
Theatre: France and Flanders
Serving in: 7th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Died in the Trenches

† - Thirty-fourth Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 1st July 1916; on opening of The Battle of The Somme

Private, William Thomas BUTCHER(S) (of Newnham), Killed in Action aged 23 years
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 6A and 7C
Theatre: France and Flanders
Serving in: 1st Battalion, Border Regiment; formerly in Royal West Kent Regiment
Died in the Trenches

† - Thirty-fifth Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 1st July 1916; on opening of The Battle of The Somme

Private, Charlie HOLLANDS (of Lynsted), Killed in Action aged 21 years
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 8C 9A and 16A
Theatre: France and Flanders
Serving in: 11th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Died in the Trenches

† - Thirty-sixth Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 1st July 1916; on opening of The Battle of The Somme

Private, Hubert Harry HAYESMORE (of Newnham), Killed in Action aged 22 years
Memorial: Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, Plot 8, Row V, Grave 2
Theatre: France and Flanders
Serving in: 7th (Service) Battalion, East Kent Regiment (The Buffs)
Died in attack on Pommiers Line

† - Thirty-seventh Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 4th July 1916; at Sea Home from "shock"

Private, Samuel Albert UNDERDOWN (of Norton), Died after Discharge: aged 49 years
Memorial: Norton Churchyard, Kent.
Theatre: (in which serving) Meditteranean
Having Served in: the 25th Labour Company, Army Service Corps
Died at Home.

Passed for General Service, H.C. Wood

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald of 8th July 1916
PASSED FOR GENERAL SERVICE. H.C. Wood, 4 Teynham Road, master mason. Applicant, who had been examined by the Military Medical Board during the week that the case had been adjourned, put in the medical certificate showing that he had been passed for general service.
Mr. Headicar moved that no further exemption be allowed.
This was agreed to by the Tribunal, and applicant gave notice of his intention to appeal to the Country Tribunal.

Appeals against enlistment - Doddington & Lynsted businesses

Faversham and North East Kent News of 8th July 1916

Conditional exemption was also granted Ernest Charles Sellen, a Doddington baker. his application had reached the Clerk through the post without a stamp, with the result that the Clerk had to pay 2d. To the amusement of the Court, Mr.Tassell now recovered the twopence from the applicant who paid up cheerfully though he was confident he put a stamp on.

Conditional exemption was granted Albert Edward Parris (40, married) stationer and newsagent, Teynham; Leonard Fuller, farmer, Colyer's Farm, Lynsted.

Death of local parish councillor mourned

Reported in the Parish Council Minutes on 10th July 1916: The Parish Council meeting proposed "That the Parish Council of Lynsted desires to express its deep sympathy with Mrs Dence for the loss of her husband, who had been a member of the Parish Council for 20 years."

Danger of matches in explosives factories!

South Eastern Gazette on 18th July 1916
MAGISTRATES' WARNING. Two more charges of taking matches into the Explosives Works came before the County Bench on Wednesday [12th July], the defendants being William Malpus, of Station Row, Teynham, and William Bernard Taylor, of Quay Lane, Faversham. In imposing fines of 40s., in default 10 days, the Chairman said one would really think that by this time employees at the works would take the simple precaution of feeling in their pockets before entering. If the cases did not stop, offenders would probably be sent to prison without the option of a fine.

Lynsted Soldiers Killed - L.L. Ackermann & Charlie Hollands

East Kent Gazette on 22nd July 1916

LYNSTED SOLDIER KILLED. It is with great regret that we record this week the death of Leon Lorden Ackerman, the third son of Mr and Mrs T.L. Ackermann of Lynsted. Mr Leon Ackermann, who was 29 years of age, enlisted in the Buffs at the outbreak of the war, and at the time of his death he was a Lance Corporal. He was killed on July 1st in the great advance. He was formerly an architect and draughtsman in the offices of Messrs Drake and Boucher, of Rochester, but for four years before the war he suffered bad health and relinquished that position. He had just recovered when the War broke out. He was very popular in his village, and much sympathy is felt with the bereaved family. Another son of Mr and Mrs Ackermann, Mr Sydney Ackermann, is a captain on the Financial Advisory Staff at the Front.

GREENSTREET. DEATH FROM A SNIPER'S BULLET. Mr and Mrs Charles Hollands, of Greenstreet have suffered a sad loss by the death of their fourth son Charles, who was a private in the Royal Fusiliers. Young Hollands, who was 21 years of age, was killed by a sniper's bullet on July 1st. He went up with the 1st Derby Groups in January, and went to the front on May 4th. Previous to joining the colours he was on the staff of the Sittingbourne Post Office. Mr and Mrs Hollands have 3 other sons servicing viz John in the Royal Navy, Frederick in the 1st Buffs, and William in the RGA. The two soldiers are at the Front. The fifth son joins the services next week. Mr.Hollands has been signalman at the Teynham Station for the past 28 years.

Lady Relieving Officer

Kent Messenger of 27th July 1916
SITTINGBOURNE. A LADY RELIEVING OFFICER.- Milton Board of Guardians on Wednesday appointed Mrs. M.G. Brown, late Matron of the Dewsbury Poor Law Institution, as Temporary Relieving Officer, in the place of Mr. Gordon Hancock, who is joining the Colours.

Captain Fryatt, merchant navy captain, was shot by order of a German court-martial in Belgium - 27th July 1916

photograph from Teynham Station shows crowds waiting to see his body pass on its was to burial in 1919. The story of the recovery of his body for burial and the story of his death has been pulled together by the Society (Nigel Heriz-Smith) - read that story in this PDF document. In short, the Germans argued Captain Fryatt had made to ram their vessel (and celebrated in England for the act) and that was an act of war that only death could put right.

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