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Redan Ridge

Redan Ridge, hand drawn on linen by S Mildred, 4th Division, during the Battle of the Somme

1st July...

The difficult Redan Ridge front was manned by the Regulars of 4th Division, whose battalions represented regions across the British Isles. They were: 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers; 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers; 2nd Seaforth Highlanders; 1st Somerset Light Infantry; 1st East Lancs; 1st Hampshires, the Rifle Brigade; 1st King’s Own; 2nd Duke of Wellington’s; 2nd Essex and 2nd Lancs. Two further battalions were attached to 4th Division for the First of July offensive. They were the 6th and 8th Royal Warwicks, Territorial units of the West Midlands’ regiment. Private JS Reid of the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders: “I could see that our leading waves had got caught by their kilts. They were killed hanging on the wire, riddled with bullets, like crows shot on a dyke."

13th/14th November...

The 2nd Division advanced along Redan Ridge. The 5th Brigade on the right formed up in no man's land, hugged the barrage and got into the German front line easily. Two battalions reached Beaumont Trench on schedule and the other two formed a defensive flank facing north and repelled bombing attacks from the 6th Brigade area, where the advance had been held up by fog and mud, then fire from "The Quadrilateral" in the middle of the 6th Brigade area, where some troops on the right managed to reach the first objective. The junction of Beaumont Trench and Lager Alley was blocked; some troops veered north-east after finding stray troops from the 3rd Division and assuming that they had lost direction. By 7:30 a.m. the 5th Brigade was ready to advance on the second objective and reached Frankfort Trench so depleted, that the troops fell back to Munich trench, Wagon Road then Crater Lane in the German front line. The reserve brigade moved forward at the same time and two battalions were sent to reinforce the 5th Brigade at the first objective. At 9:00 a.m. the remainder of the 6th Brigade was ordered back to the British front line to reorganise and two attacks by the reserve brigade were ordered then cancelled. Overnight the ground was consolidated and two 37th Division battalions were sent up from corps reserve next morning

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