My Grandfather fought here and I remember very well him telling me about it. I shall try and put it all down here. My grandfather was Private Frederick Roberts, a rifleman (later Bren gunner) in the 2nd Bat Essex regiment. he was sent to advance on Verriers wood without much of a brief. They were simple to advance across open ground and through the wood itself until contact was made. This was all he knew I think. He didn't tell me much about the advance across the fields but did mention that they made contact in the woods and were position in a small gully. The German fire grew intense and they returned fire as best they could, losing a few of the lads purely due to the amount of metal in the air. After a short while, the volume of fire on the German side fell to almost nothing and then came the shouts of 'Kommerade, Kommerade'. All along the line my grandfather said the shouts went out for nobdy to stand up. He said a significant number of the lads did purely because they knew no better and the German Spandaus cut them down. Following this, the company decided to try suppress the Germans by using automatic weapon fire and the Company sniper (Cpl Butcher) who had gotten himself into a good fire position. He also mentioned the German use of flamethrowers against the Essex but didn't tell me whether they were against his section or elsewhere. I cannot remember how long it took to clear the wood, but he did tell me that over a week later, after the Brigade had advanced further inland, my gradfather was sent back to the beach for some rest. He went through Essex wood on his way back and was sickened to see that the battlefield clearnace boys had simply stacked the bodies of the dead Essex men into one enormous pile and they had been left there to rot in the sunshine. He said not much made him sick, but that did. God, I miss him.