This is a British soldiers shovel head it is missing its wooden handle this has rotted away. The shovel which has been over painted black to help preserve it and is in relic but solid condition it is rusty but not crumbling or braking up it has been nicely cleaned and is perfect for display or any collection . The shovel was recovered in 2015 from the British trench line near the village of Mametz on the Somme battlefield in France this area saw very heavy fighting during the battle on the 1st July 1916.
In June 1916, the British preliminary bombardment cut much of the barbed wire protecting the Mametz defences and destroyed many of the trenches in the first position occupied by Reserve Infantry Regiment 109 of the 28th Reserve Division. On the 1st July 1916 when the British 7th Division advanced behind a creeping barrage, much of the German front line was quickly overrun and many prisoners taken; delays further forward caused the infantry to lag behind the barrage and suffer far more casualties. Mametz was occupied during the morning by the British 20th Brigade but a German counter-attack forced most of the British troops out, until a second attack during the afternoon, when the advance of the British 18th Division on the right flank, had cut the Germans in the village off from Montauban to the east. The German defence collapsed and the 7th Division reached all its objectives on the right and in the centre and began to consolidate, ready to receive a German counter-attack.
British and French attacks south of the Albert–Bapaume road continued on 2 July and by 13 July had pushed up close to the German second position through Mametz Wood to the north of Mametz, ready for the Battle of Bazentin Ridge on 14 July, the British7th Division having been relieved by the British 38th Division on 5 July.
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