Robert Poutney came from Halesowen and attended Hasbury school. He volunteered for the Worcester Territorials and went to the 1/7th Battalion. They moved to the Western Front in 1915 and eventually to the front line at Hébuterne. The winter of early 1916 was among the worst of the century and conditions for the Territorials were dire. There were occasional raids and a high level of sickness. Their task was to prepare for the Battle of the Somme and they went to the front line for its second main phase. On the 13th August they took over front line trenches at Ovillers including the important Skyline Trench. The main attack occurred on the 21st August when the fighting continued into the night without gaining new ground. Private Robert Poutney was killed on that day. His army number, 3201, was next to that of Thomas Portman, suggesting that they volunteered at the same time. He is buried in Sucrerie Cemetery, Colincamps (I G 31) and is commemorated on the Halesowen and Hasbury Memorials.
Hagley Road, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 4QD
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