THERE'S no one left now. The last few survivors of the Great War trenches - British, French and German - who lived on through those desperate days and made it well into the new century have finally given up the struggle.
They were the lucky ones; some lasted just a few minutes.
Of all the many battles of the First World War, the Somme was the most costly and bloodiest.
It stretched from July 1, 1916 to the onset of winter in late November. In that time the French lost over 200,000 men, the Germans over 500,000, Britain and her Empire some 420,000.
One of the first to die was Second Lieutenant Edward Deakin Ashton, educated at Sedbergh School and Baliol College, Oxford, only son of rich parents who lived in a grand house in Darwen. He was a Lancashire Fusilier. He was 26.
On that summer Saturday, as the deafening dawn barrage finally lifted, the swirling smoke began to drift away a little to reveal a clear, bright morning. The attack began at exactly 7.30 on a 14-mile front. The 15th and 16th and 19th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers (Salford Pals), part of the 32nd Division, went 'over the top' against the redoubt of Thiepval, north-east of Amiens.
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2Lt Edward Deakin Ashton in Lancashire Life.