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While other crew members lay dead or injured, Cornwall stayed at his post until the end of the action. He died of his wounds on 2 June and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. THE BRITISH GRAND FLEET The British Royal Navy was the biggest and most powerful in the world. It operated a policy known as the “two-power standard” – the combined might of the British fleet should be the equal of the two next strongest nations combined. Despite this superiority, the navy played a fairly minor role in the war compared with the army, keeping the seas free of German ships and escorting convoys of merchant ships to Britain.

Forty-nine were ready to fight at the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916, but only 18 were reliable enough to take part in the battle itself. Total weight of 28,450 kg (28 tons) Toughened leather skull cap PROTECT AND SURVIVE Leather helmets, faceguards, and chainmail mouthpieces were issued to British tank crews to protect their heads. The visors gave protection against particles of hot metal which flew off the inside of the hull when the tank was hit by a bullet. German A7V tank A7V TANK The only German tank built during the war was the huge A7V, a 33,500-kg (33-ton) machine with six machine guns and a crew of 18.

On 29 September, the British 46th North Midland Division captured the bridge at Riqueval, over the St Quentin Canal. They posed for a celebratory photograph, because they had broken the Line at last. Many French children did not remember life before the German occupation of their towns and cities Background picture: German troops advancing at the Somme, April 1918 French children march alongside the Allied army THE LAST DAYS By 5 October, the Allied armies had breached the entire Hindenburg Line and were crossing open country.

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