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‘Private George Coppard’

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One of these reasons is that C was from an interview with ‘Private George Coppard’ who was on the frontline whilst fighting in the Somme.

We know that he was on the frontline because in the interview he explains what he saw “It was clear that there were no gaps in the wire”, but if you weren’t near the frontline you wouldn’t be able to see if there were or weren’t gaps in the barbed wire.

Another reason why I trust source C is that it was written years after the war so he wouldn’t have to worry about being punished or kicked out the army, damaging morale and something as horrendous as the Somme would stay in his mind for a long time Hundreds of dead were strung out on the barbed wire”.

Finally Coppard has no obvious reason to lie as its years after the war.

I do not trust source B because Haig was not on the frontline and most of the information he received was second hand which may have just been centred on the success of Ulster division who were the only ones to break the enemy lines.

Also if Haig was writing towards the public he would want to make the first day sound like a great success, “very successful attack this morning. All went like clockwork”, Haig would’ve wanted the first day to sound like a success so that the families and people of Britain would have hope that the war is going fine and that their relatives are still alive.

On the other hand, I trust B more than C because Haig has more access to reports as he was a field marshal who needs the updates about the war to make important changes in the tactics he used, this is how he knew that everything “All went like clockwork”.

Also Haig wrote the report on the same day as the attack but Coppard was interviewed years after the attack.

I do not trust C because he can only comment on what he sees “Dead were strung out on the barbed wire” and not on what might be happening elsewhere at the Somme.

Also Private George Coppard may have been commenting on rumours which could have travelled down the trenches from further up or down the Somme. This is unreliable as someone may have been told something and then either misheard it or told someone the wrong information.

I also trust source C more than B because it relates to my own knowledge because it mentions that there was “Quite as many died on the enemy wire as on the ground.” And I know that there were around sixty thousand casualties, this day was named the ‘Blackest day of the British Army’ due to all the injuries.

However, whilst comparing source B and H, I see that they both talk about the success of the day:

“Very successful attack this morning.” – Source B and “breaking down the powers of resistance of the enemy” -Source H, this comparison heightens my trust of source B. Also the source was written by a British general who fought in both wars, this also makes me trust source B because the general can make fair comparisons between both wars, he also wrote this years after the war so he would have no obvious reason to lie.

On the other hand, source J agrees more with source C when it says “It killed far more of our best.” This corresponds with source C as it mentions that “Hundreds of dead”, this makes me trust source C more than source B once again.

Overall I trust the author of source C more than the author of source B because the source relates more to my own knowledge and other sources than source C.

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