#OnThisDay 1916 The 36th Ulster Division went over the top at the Battle of the Somme. The fighting was described by one soldier as ‘a Belfast riot on the top of Mount Vesuvius‘. The 36th held the Schwaben Redoubt until nightfall but at a very heavy cost, the division suffering in two days of fighting 5,500 officers and enlisted men killed, wounded or missing.
Philip Gibbs said of the Division, “Their attack was one of the finest displays of human courage in the world”.
Of nine Victoria Crosses given to British forces in the battle, four were awarded to 36th Division soldiers.