Centenary of the Battle of the Somme
Remembering Peabody residents who died 100 years ago in one of the most brutal battles of the First World War.
Friday 1 July is the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme and will be marked by national commemorations.
The Battle began on 1 July 1916 and resulted in huge British casualties – about 57,000 on the first day alone, of whom nearly 20,000 died and the remainder were wounded. The fighting continued for many weeks and the death toll mounted relentlessly.
Three men from Peabody estates died on the first day of battle. Private WG Potter of the London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and Lance Corporal AE Tee of the Middlesex Regiment are both commemorated on the war memorial at Abbey Orchard Street estate (below).
Abbey Orchard memorial (above)
Private WG Challis of the Devonshire Regiment is listed on the war memorial on our Pimlico estate. Before the first week of the battle was over, victims also included Lance Corporal EG Hilder of the Middlesex Regiment, whose home was at the Wild Street estate, and Private JCW Paines of the Royal Fusiliers, whose parents were living at the newest Peabody estate at Walworth.
Lance Corporal Tee's name is listed (centre above) on the Theipval memorial in France
EG Hilder’s body was retrieved for later burial and his grave is in Auchonvillers Military Cemetery in France.
The other four men’s names appear on the massive Thiepval Memorial (above) on the Somme battlefield, which records 72,000 men who have no known grave. The names include 21 men from Peabody estates.More about Peabody and the First World War
We commemorate World War One here and look at its impact on our residents and communities.
Our records show that by 1916 there were 2,637 Peabody residents serving with the armed forces. We believe 350–400 died on active service.