General Aylmer Hunter-Weston's message, 4 July 1916.

General Aylmer Hunter-Weston’s message to the men of VIII Corps, 4 July 1916. Hunter-Weston sent this message after the attack on Beaumont-Hamel and Serre on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. His divisions suffered some of the heaviest casualties during the early days of the offensive and they failed to capture any of their main objectives. This did little for his reputation which had been damaged during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 when he was referred to by the troops under his command as ‘The Butcher of Helles’ due to his disregard for their welfare and ill-conceived battle plans.