The battlefields of the Somme today (Photo: Centenary News)

A soldier's story of the first hours of the Somme - rediscovered by local historian

Posted on on 19 December 2015
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A former BBC journalist has unearthed the story of a British soldier who witnessed one of the enormous explosions marking the start of the Battle of the Somme. 

Howard Benson visited West Yorkshire Archives to listen to a rare broadcast interview given by Corporal Harry Taylor to BBC Radio Leeds before his death in 1988.

Taylor was among Yorkshire miners recruited by the Royal Engineers during the First World War to dig tunnels under no man's land with the aim of detonating explosives beneath the German front lines.

In the interview, Harry Taylor describes how he witnessed the massive mine explosion at Hawthorn Redoubt on July 1st 1916 - the first day of the Somme offensive - from a shell crater in no-man's land.

Read the full story here on Howard Benson's 'Woodlesford Station' local history website.