DAIRY OF LIEUT. V F.S. HAWKINS. 2ND/BN LANC. FUS . 12 INF BDE . 4TH DIV THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME 1ST JULY 1916 TO OCTOBER . THE ATTACK. copied as written at 6:30 a.m the artillery fire became rapid until 7: p.m. when it became intense. it was most extraordinary sight. the Bosch line could not be seen for smoke and bursting shells. Bosch still hardly answered at all . the first mistake was made at 7:25 a.m. when the BEAUMONT HAMEL line under the HAWTHORNE RIDGE REDOUBT went up. this gave the GERMANS 5 minutes to consolidate the crater which they made use of. zero hour was at 7:30 a.m. at 7:30 a.m the first waves went over and then things began to happen. in spite of 6 days bombardment GERMAN machine guns got going from every direction. BEAUMONT HAMIL opposite the the 29th division was a veritable fortress. the 29th division never got near the Hun front line. THE 93rd brigade of the division on our left never got more than half way over no mans land. although the left brigade of that division did get into SERRE that day. the 11th brigade got the first line fairly easy, GEN PROWSE left the headquarters too soon and was killed rushing a machine gun. he was shot in the stomach and died at MAUEUX. CORPS HEADQUARTERS that evening . the losses of the brigade were awful. the COS.of the HAMPSHIRES. THE RIFLE BRIGADE and the SOMMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY were killed and most of the officers were knocked out. they finally got held up somewhere in the 2nd line, meanwhile we were waiting in BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS for news, the ESSEX AND KING'S OWN were going over first with the LAN.FUS. and DUKES in support. the KINGS OWN AND ESSEX were wonderful. the KING'S OWN got very nearly to PENDANT COPSE and the ESSEX to MUNICH TRENCH MARTINEAU the brigade signalling officer went off to raise a forward signal station which he did somewhere on 63 over and over again we got a message back from him saying the ESSEX were bombing in MUNICH TRENCH and wanted more bombs. of the KING'S OWN we never heard a word. beyond from the ADJUTANT who came in to HEADQUARTERS with a cracked head. this was the first action in which the STEEL HELMETS were worn and they undoubtedly saved many lives. just before the BRIGADE went over the DIVISION wired us to stop the BATTALIONS and also stop the 10th BRIGADE. runners were immediately sent to the KING'S OWN and ESSEX,LAN.FUS ,DUKES. they were to late however. the KING'S OWN and ESSEX were right on . the LAN.FUS half were mostly in the QUADRILATERAL and one COY. of the DUKES was in the BOSCH line. more later.