Somme: Ginchy to LesBoeufs

We return to Picardy, for a walk across the ‘Forgotten Somme’: those places less visited on these battlefields of 1916, and see the villages of Ginchy and LesBoeufs, look at the story of the ‘Tally Ho VC’, of author Charles Dickens’ grandson killed near Ginchy, and discuss conditions in the dreadful Somme mud of the autumn and winter of 1916.


Podcast Extras: Ginchy Church

Podcast Extras: LesBoeufs

17 Comments on “Somme: Ginchy to LesBoeufs

  1. Thanks Paul, My wifes grandfather was a Welsh Guard, and was killed 16th Sept 1916 at Ginchy..His picture has always been on display for as long as I can remember

    As a family (6 of us) we travelled from Australia and visited the Somme to pay our respects to Thomas Henry Harrison who was killed 16th Sept 1916 in Ginchy
    ,We stayed 6 days and wished it was longer

    Thanks again also for the research you undertook for us in 2015 in tracing the history of the Welsh Guards , that gave us a good understanding of the battles and places visited by Thomas Henry Harrison .

    An excellent website and I look forward to each podcast..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great podcast Paul.

    My great uncle served in this sector of the Somme from early September through to March 1917 with the 6th Shropshires. There’s a very well written book by Captain Dugdale, of that Battalion, which vividly describes the winter conditions of 1916/17. I love that the whole of that part of Somme, mainly due to the K.S.L.I. involvement in the area but also love the beauty of the area.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Smashing listen as ever. I really enjoy hearing about the personal stories it reminds you of the personal cost not only to those who fell but their families also. I was lucky enough to come across the paperwork for my great great uncles final burial site at Wulverheim Lindhoek and the details of the money his mother paid for an inscription on his headstone. 2nd Corporal FR Meek 171 Tunneling Coy RE. We visited a few years ago and I believe we were the first members of the family to do so as he had no children. Thanks again for doing these.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this Paul. You were such a friend when the family looked to move the cross of Major Cedric Dickens and again when the rotting original was moved to Ginchy Church. It helped to build new connections with the commune and dear Jean Marc – the current Mayor – has become a good friend. In 2016, the family added an information board and a new bench – Cedric’s mother was so keen for visitors to sit and think about her brave son. The added poignancy of her wish is that Cedric’s mother was from a French family – surname Roche – and for her ‘Benjamin’ – her youngest – to fall on her home soil was an added irony. The design of the wooden cross and the wording on it came from an older son – Admiral Sir Gerald Charles Dickens – who was my grandfather. The war walk you lead us on was so precious and we are ever grateful for you continuing to share the story of Major Cedric.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great listening as always. My family have been trying to trace where my great Granddad was fighting with the Welsh Guards in 1916.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, No I haven’t I didn’t realise. I will contact them and hopefully be able to find some more information. What are the best sites to visit in France that the Welsh Guards saw combat at?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Paul,

    I really enjoyed this episode, it has special relevance to me as another of my great-uncles was killed in this area (between Lesboeufs & Le Transloy) on 12 Oct 1916. 37076 Pvt Pat Elkin, 2nd Bn Lancs Fusiliers. He was killed attacking Spectrum Trench, somewhere roughly between the modern cemetery about 1/2 km NE of Lesboeufs on the D474 & the track roughly 400m N from there. Again, no known grave, just his name on the Thiepval memorial.

    He was relatively old, 30, &had previously served as 25332 N Staffordshire Regt. I haven’t (so far) been able to discover why or when he changed units – I’ll get there.

    I love following the walks on Google maps, looking forward to when we can get back out there again.

    Keep up the great work.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. I would guess that by 1916, and the heavy losses on the Somme, men would arrive at the base in one regiment, and then because of the losses be transferred to whatever units needed men at that time.


      • Cheers Paul,

        That’s my assumption, either his original unit being so reduced that the remaining troops were reallocated to fill gaps or maybe he was injured (no evidence) & reassigned on becoming fit.


  7. Thanks for reminding me of the correct pronunciation of “Shonshy”!

    I went on a Walking the Somme Tour with you in 2002 and we walked down the road from Ginchy to Guillemont and I was struck by how close together they were. Good to read that the Irish government are taking more of an interest in the memorial gardens. I visited Dublin in 2007 and the gardens looked”OK” but not the same as those on the Western Front. Thanks for another fascinating podcast l.

    Liked by 1 person

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