Frederick Ryland Digby

Service No: 24995
Rank: Private
Regiment / Service: 2nd Bn. Grenadier Guards
Date of death: 25th September 1916
Memorial / Grave: Guards’ Cemetery, Lesboeufs, France. Memorial 80
Additional information:

The Guards Division had been involved in heavy fighting since the Somme offensive began in July 1916. On the morning of September 15th Pte F R Digby stood with his comrades in waterlogged trenches waiting for the whistle to signal the begining of one more advance. The Guards Division had been ordered to capture the town of Lesboeufs, a community situated 6 miles ahead of them and defended in depth by woods and a stubborn and well armed enemy.

All of those men waiting the call to arms on that fateful day must have been mindful of the 20,000 comrades who died in a similar frontal asssault when the Somme offensive first began earlier in July. The attack’s preceding barrage was considerable, but the advance slow, and it would be ten days of hard combat before the Guards eventually took their objective on September 25th. Sadly it was on this day in 1916 that Pte F R Digby from Milton Malsor gave up his life for King and Country. The 2nd Grenediers lost 40 officers and men on that day and they were all buried in the Lesboeufs Cemetery.

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