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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Transcript of the Durham County Chronicle

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(D/WP 2/61)

Stanley News,
North Durham Observer
Station-road, West Stanley.
Telephone: 29 Stanley


Topics of the Week.



We are now in the fourth week of 
the great British-French offensive, and 
although we have not secured anything
in the way of sensational successes, 
splendid work is being done. There 
are no doubt many who, owing to the 
absence of the spectacular, follow the 
proceedings with little interest, and 
thereby do a great injustice to the men 
who are fighting so strenuously out 
there in the trenches. To the Germans
our troops and our guns are accomp-
lishing the impossible. They have 
all along declared that their positions
were impregnable. They did not speak 
without good reason. Their trenches 
are made on the most elaborate plan. 
When bombarded they can retire to
dug-outs 20 and 30 feet below the ground
level, taking machine guns with them. 
when the infantry attack begins they 
are back in their places. In a great 
many other details of defensive warfare 
we find that the enemy has taken the 
most elaborate precautions against a
successful assault. And yet the 
British troops in their area, and the 
French in theirs, are capturing these
positions and driving the enemy before 
them. There is not the slightest 
doubt that at the moment the Germans
are making the most strenuous efforts 
to stop the British. During the last 
few days the Germans have brought up
further reinforcements of men and 
guns. They are not only resisting with
desperation our steady pressure, but 
they are now delivering frequent
counter-attacks marked by obstinate 
persistence. Their artillery work 
appears to be extremely well directed, 
and the weight of their fire is growing. 
Our enemies in short, though not fight-
ing with any real hope of recovering lost
ground, are straining every nerve to 
prevent a further expansion of the 
British offensive. They are using 
masses of men in their counter-attacks, 
and are not deterred by the fact that 
time after time their advancing lines
have been broken up without reaching
our trenches. The battle fluctuates 
from day to day. Sometimes there is
a lull; sometimes the German troops 
fling themselves in vain against our
newly-won positions; sometimes our 
gallant soldiers push forward and seize
a fresh point, often at heavy cost.

But, despite it all, the British con-
tinue to make progress. They not only 
gain ground, they keep it. Such 
places as Pozieres are strongly fortified,
and can only be won yard by yard. On 
Wednesday we had the definite news 
of the capture of Pozieres, but it had 
been in our hands, practically, for 
some days. A few of the enemy with 
machine-guns scattered about in two or 
three houses was all that stood between us 
and complete occupation. A 
battle like that of the Somme has an ...