Unlike its near neighbour, working-class Salford, Manchester proved able to raise eight Pals battalions. Initially, these battalions were composed of middle-class men who experience before the war years was within the commercial, financial and manufacturing interests which formed the foundations of Edwardian Manchester's life and prosperity. Manchester was undeniably proud of its pals battalions; that the area was capable of raising. Seven months after their arrival in France the battle of the Somme was launched, on the fateful 1st July, 1916. On the right of the British Army's extraordinary efforts that day, the Manchester Pals were part of one of the few successful actions, taking the villages of Montauban and Mametz and making a deep incursion into the German defences north of the River Somme.