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On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916, the British had 57,540 casualties, of which more than 19,000 were killed.

The British were forced to institute a draft in 1916.

"The war had become undisguisedly mechanical and inhuman. What in earlier days had been drafts of volunteers were now droves of victims."

-Siegfried L. Sassoon, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer


British machine gunners in a trench

British machine gunners in a captured German second-line trench at Cambrai

Photo courtesy of the Photos of the Great War Web site.
Used with permission.