August 8th 1918

August 8th 1918

This day was oft called the black day of the German army. It was the first day of the Battle of Amiens and it really was the beginning of the end.

It was also the day on which my wife’s grandfather won a Military Cross. He was, by then, a captain in the Tank Corps. We know his tank was hit and caught fire. Still under fire he rescued as many as he could of his crew – but sadly, not all of them. Grandfather’s tank had been attached to a Canadian regiment and using their wonderful on line diaries we have been able to trace just where grandfather went on that fateful day. Near the point where his tank was hit there is a cemetery and it contains Tank Corps men. We don’t know, but maybe they were with Grandad and failed to escape from the blazing inferno of his tank.

Grandad, of course, survived but like so many Great War veterans, he never talked about it. My wife never knew he had been awarded such a high bravery award until long after his death.  So of course we do not know the names of his tank crew.

But here is one of the graves in the Beaucourt British Cemetery.

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Note it has two names on it. We know nothing of Private J Oliver or Private W Barrett who sadly, along with so many others on both sides of this conflict, paid with their lives.

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