At dawn on the 1st of July 1916 the Newfoundlanders waited in the St John's Trench for the leading battalions to take the forward German lines, after which they were to continue the attack beyond Beaumont Hamel onto the Beaucourt ridge. However with what at the time was perceived to be the partial failure of the leading battalions, an hour after zero hour they were ordered "to move forward in conjunction with the 1st Essex and occupy the enemy's first trench". Because the communication trenches were blocked with wounded, they deployed directly from this trench, moving across ground which was out of the direct sight of most of the German defenders. However the Essex Regt on their right were under observation from Thiepval and obliged to use the communication trenches so they were unable to get into position until and hour later. The Newfoundlanders were on their own. As the Newfoundlanders advanced, they were silhouetted as they came over the ridgeline, making them a clear target for the German machine gunners and riflemen. They also had to proceed through gaps cut in the British wire. By this stage these gaps would have been identified by the Germans and targeted accordingly. At this stage the Newfoundlanders were the only troops moving on this part of the battlefield and so the principal target for German artillery and infantry. The so - called 'Danger Tree' where many of the Newfoundlanders seemed to have gravitated as their advance was halted by a storm of bullets and shrapnel.
Created by: Desmond1478