Private Richard Rowntree

Private Richard Rowntree, 16th( Service) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in France on 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and is buried in Lonsdale Cemetery, Authille, Somme, France. He had been born in Gateshead and had enlisted in Newcastle. He fell in the attack on the heavily fortified German stronghold of Thiepval which was stopped in its tracks by heavy machine gun fire, the survivors being forced back to their own trenches where they continued to be harassed by enemy artillery. 16th N.F. was a ” Pals ” Battalion raised in 1914 by the Newcastle Chambers of Commerce and known as the ” Newcastle Commercials ” The photo shows troops advancing over a very wide “no mans land” with very little cover.

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