The Seventh Somersets were a typical British line battalion of a typical county infantry regiment in the Second World War. What that meant in practice is described by the military historian and soldier Brigadier H. Essame, who saw the Somersets in hot action as they fought their way from the Normandy beaches to the banks of the river Elbe in a defeated and shattered Germany. ‘No finer soldiers than the 7th Somerset Light Infantry ever left England and fought their way acorss the continent to final victory. They won their battles because at every level they were better men than the finest troops of the German Army, because they had greater courage and greater skill. There was no danger that they would not face, no hardship which they would not endure, no risk they would not take. May those who come after them be worthy of their sacrifice’.
Landing in France in late June 1944, the 7th Somersets fought their way out of Normandy and through Belgium and Holland that summer. During the winter war of 1944/45 they helped turn the Siegfried Line and pushed across the north German plain from the Rhine to the Elbe. This is the story of the last, bitter months of the war in Europe seen from the ground up, with a Roll of Honour plus decorations and awards.
STORY OF THE SEVENTH BATTALION THE SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY JUNE 1944 TO MAY 1945
An excellent battalion record from Normandy beaches to the breakout (they got through three COs. – all killed our wounded within ten days – in Normandy), then a hard fighting advance through the Low Countries & into the Fatherland. Roll of Hon. & awards (with extracts from official recommendations), officers’ services & roll of senior NCOs. Attractive history produced soon after the end of the war while the regiment was in Germany: it was printed for the men of the Seventh Battalion & for their next of kin & was not for public sale.