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Sam Bright, was what you would call a real character. He couldn’t wait for the moment to tell a story or crack a joke. A soldier, a coal miner, a chef at Blackpool Casino, a fish and chip shop owner, a shopkeeper, a pallbearer, these were a few of his careers.
During the First World War he found himself as a cook, responsible for the well being of his comrades. The meager rations that the army supplied needed supplementing by scavenging. Often he went on ‘raiding parties’, sneaking into French farms, pilfering this and that. He once found himself in a Frenchman’s dovecote. This was nearly his final mission. The farmer gave chase and then leveled his loaded rifle at him. He wasn’t really proud of his thieving but as he explained, it was war and his mates were hungry. One of his most poignant tales was about a march to the ‘front’. In the hedgerow Sam spotted a ham bone which had a bit of meat left on it. They got to the front line and as the history books tell us conditions were appalling and the rations were low. Sam remembered the ham bone, and on the march back retrieved it from the hedge to use in the next stew.
Battle of the Somme saw the British Army, supported by contingents from British imperial territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, Canada, India and South Africa, mount a joint offensive with the French Army against the German Army, which had occupied large areas of France since its invasion of the country in August 1914. The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the war; by the time fighting paused in late autumn 1916, the forces involved had suffered more than 1 million casualties, making it one of the bloodiest military operations ever recorded. Read more…