The Battle of the Somme took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on either side of the River Somme in northern France. It was one of the largest confrontations of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.
The first day on the Somme is described by some as the worst day in the history of the British Army, which had around 57,470 casualties, mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt
where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German
front line. The British Army on the Somme at that time was a mixture of the remains
of the pre-war regular army, the Territorial Force and the Kitchener Army, which was partly composed of "Pals Battalions" recruited from the same cities, towns or occupations.
The battle is also remembered for the importance of air power and the first use of the "tank" in warfare.
Our speaker tonight is former Principal Teacher of History, Bill Fitzpatrick who visited this battlefield area on many occasions when he organised visits for his pupils to the Commonwealth War Cemeteries.
We look forward to what will be a most interesting and informative talk.