Rumours circulating last week suggested that the Jersey Contingent has moved south from the area around Loos to take part in the tremendous fighting presently taking place on the Somme. From the official casualty reports coming through since the start of this week, it’s clear that ‘Ours’ have indeed been involved in the battle, with what appears to be heavy losses as a result.
The 16th (Irish) Division in which the Jersey Contingent forms a company, is known to have been committed in the Guillemont – Ginchy area. The first reported Jersey loss was Sergeant Arthur Pirouet who died of wounds. A flood of casualty reports followed, among them CSM William Marshall, Corporals Edward Luce and Harold Carver and Riflemen Charles Blampied and John Auffret all killed in action. Dozens more are known to have been wounded.
Along with such tragic news comes information that the Contingent’s Jack Le Breton, who was recently promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major, performed heroic deeds during the fighting at Guillemont. Under heavy shellfire, he reportedly rescued a number of wounded men after the regimental aid post was blown in, carrying them to safety one by one.
L/F/08/C1/4 contains a bravery recommendation for RSM Jack Le Breton of the Jersey Contingent for his actions at Guillemont on 6 September 1916.