Private Robert Padley

Private Robert Alexander Padley, 1st/2nd, Battalion, London Regiment ( Royal Fusiliers ). He died in France on 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, aged 22. He was the son of Frank and Hannah Padley of  Market Place, Wooler and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, France. He was shot in the neck by a sniper and later that day died from his wounds. He had been educated at the Duke’s School, Alnwick and from there had gone to London to work as a Civil Servant. It was in London that he joined the Territorials and went to France with his Battalion. He was fatally wounded during the attack on the strong German positions in Gommecourt. Some parts of the position were captured but due to heavy casualties could not be held and the survivors were forced to retire to the British lines. The photograph shows troops advancing over a wide “no mans land” with very little cover with the colour image depicting a peaceful Somme landscape today with ” no gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now”.

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