Frederick Rowlands (The tall man with the moustache on the left)
On the 7th July 1916 Frederick Rowlands (my great-great grandfather) lost his life fighting at Mametz Wood, France. The images below are taken from the 16th Battalion, Welsh/Welch Regiment War Diary.
This diary extract for the 7th of July, 1916 reads:
“8.30am Bn. under orders drawn up on their own side of slope facing MAMETZ WOOD in lines of platoons with a 2 platoon frontage. 11/SWB in support 10/SWB in reserve. Our artillery ceased firing at wood at 8.30am + first lines of Bn. proceeded over the crest of the slope but came instantly under heavy machine gun frontal fire from MAMETZ WOOD, enfilade fire from FLATIRON COPSE + SABOT COPSE + the German Second System,which now between MAMETZ WOOD + BAZENTIN LE PETIT WOOD, Bn. suffered heavily + has to withdraw to their own side of crest. Bn. made two more attacks but position was much too exposed for any hope or success + orders were received to cease operation. 11/SWB sttempted to approach the wood through a gulley running between CATERPILLAR WOOD, slope mentioned above but machine gun fire driove them back. Our losses:- 6offs, killed, 6 wounded, 268 OR’s killed, missing or wounded. Weather very wet, this adding greatly to exhaustion of troops Bn. received orders to return to their Bivouac. Moved off 10.30pm Arrived 4.am 8/7/16”
Below is a link to an interview with a Private who served with 16th Battalion, Welch Regiment. On the 7th of July he was wounded and he tells the story of how he lay in a shell hole for days waiting to be rescued.