Regular readers of this blog might remember that my entry of 11 February discussed locating the precise site where Capt. Billie Nevill's men of Company B of the 8th Battalion of the 2nd East Surrey Regiment kicked those four soccer balls of legend across no-man's-land on 1 July 1916. Visit HERE to see the map of the site I presented. In rough terms, the site is between Carnoy and Montauban, near the boundary of the 18th and 30th Divisions of the British Army on the first day of the Somme.
|Captain Nevill in the Trenches, Pre-Somme|
|One of the Original Soccer Balls at the Surreys' Museum|
I mentioned in the article that I intended to bring my Somme In-Depth tour group to the site. I did so last week on 17 August with our own ball and asked the group to each make a commemorative soccer kick and join in a moment of remembrance for Capt. Nevill and his men. The farm field was being actively worked, but we got as close as we could — within view — to the site of the Surreys' trenches. Here are a few photos of our visit.
|Kicking Toward Montauban, Captured on 1 July – A Rare Victory That Day|
|Just Beyond Those Trees the Most Successful Mine of 1 July Was Detonated|
|Team Photo at the Football Battalion Memorial, Longueval|
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.