Somme {Page 2}...

The Battle of the Somme was fought by the armies of British Allies and the French against Germany. It took place between 1st July - 18th November 1916 around the River Somme area of France.

This was one of the most embattled encounters of the Great War with over 1,000,000 men wounded or killed. The first day of the battle (1st July 1916) saw the British alone with 20,000 killed and 40,000 injured. Germany suffered 650,000 casualties during this battle which added to their significant losses at Verdun during 1916.

Despite these levels, the battle outcome was technically somewhat stalemate, however, this battle was important to ensure:
  • The British Army relieving and displacing the French to an extent to enable them to concentrate on Verdun and secured a French victory.
  • It halted the German advance in this sector of the Western Front.
  • This campaign along with many of the other encounters of the Great War undoubtedly secured an Allied victory, playing its key part in ensuring the German Empire collapse in 1918.
The Somme also saw the birth of modern warfare with the introduction of air support and tanks to the battlefield.

When thinking of the Somme, the picture conjured up in people’s minds is lots of mud. This was certainly the case, the torrential rain of October 1916 made sure of this in a region that appears to hold the wet at the best of times.

Nowadays there are numerous CWGC cemeteries and memorials serving to preserve their memory and to ensure that what happened in this rolling region of France is never ever forgotten.

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If you need Military Bands or Assistance with Honouring Veterans - Please contact your local Royal British Legion. If sadly this is for a Military Funeral or Honouring Veterans at their Funeral, the best contact points are here.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has the responsibility to ensure that 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten. They care for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. The CWGC values and aims, laid out in 1917, are as relevant now as they were over a 100 years ago....

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We have added a number of further pages and Picture Galleries to our website for you of The National Memorial Arboretum, the Ypres Salient, Flanders & The Menin Gate, Nord Pas de Calais, Somme, Vimy Ridge, Verdun and World War 1 Main Page and seven underpinning pages.

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The images below are:

Picture 11 {0157} - Anglo French Cemetery at the foot of the Thiepval Monument. This serves as a battle memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive. The cemetery contains equal numbers of Commonwealth and French servicemen.

Picture 12 {0162} - Connaught Road Cemetery. Located 8km Northeast of Albert on the edge of Thiepval Wood near the Ulster Tower.  1,268 WW1 commonwealth servicemen are buried or commemorated in the cemetery, half being unidentified. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Picture 13 {0163} - Sign to Mill Road Cemetery. To the right over the road is Connaught Road Cemetery.

Picture 14 {0164} - Mill Road Cemetery can be seen in the distance. Located 8km North of Albert the cemetery contains the burials or commemorations of 1,304 WW1 commonwealth servicemen of which 815 are unidentified. The Cemetery was first started in spring 1917. Some but not all of the headstones are laid flat because the Cemetery was built over the Schwaben Redoubt which was a German strong point consisting of extensive underground works and tunnels.  Therefore the headstones in this part of the cemetery are laid flat due to constant subsidence. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Picture 15 {0199} - Serre Road Cemetery No.3. 11km North-northeast of Albert this cemetery was made by the V Corps in the spring of 1917. There are over 80 casualties commemorated here, mainly of the 31st Division who fell in July and November 1916. Over half of the burials are unidentified.  The access track to the cemetery is very rough terrain and not really suitable by car and crosses former No Man's Land. Six Accrington Pals rest here.

Picture 16 {0207} - Sheffield Memorial Park. Beyond this memorial there are a further three British cemeteries having already passed Serre Road 3 to get to this point. Adjacent to this memorial is the Accrington Pals Memorial. In Queens cemetery lie 50 Accrington Pals in named graves. A path leads to Railway Hallow Cemetery where there are 15 identified graves of Accrington Pals.  On the first day of the Battle of the Somme at 0730hrs the Pals advanced up the slope towards the German lines - machine gun and rifle fire immediately tore into the advancing lines of infantry. This single manoeuvre wiped out a generation of young men from this Lancashire town.  Few, if any of the towns population would have been untouched by this tragedy.

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These images are kindly provided by Ian Humphreys, RBL, and are his Copyright. You may click on the thumb nail images for the original - these are high res images and may not be used for commercial purposes without full written consent from Mr Humphreys. Each image is 3264 x 2448 pixels or 3008 x 2000 pixels and are several MB in size..

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AREA17:  So that we may all remember those that served, those injured and those that fell for the peace and security of all...