The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest and most well-known battles of the First World War. It lasted from 1st July until 18th November 1916.
It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, or of any war before or since. By the first day more than 19,240 British soldiers had been killed and nearly twice that number wounded. Over the battle an estimated 1,000,000 men were killed or wounded, including about 485,000 British and French troops.
Trench warfare meant conditions were cramped and uncomfortable and the drinking water was sometimes collected from holes made by enemy shells. Several different weapons were used, including mines, poisonous gas and machine guns. Some of the latter needed 12 men to operate them. Tanks were used for the first time during the battle. When the Battle of the Somme ended, partly because heavy rains made fighting too difficult, the British and French soldiers had advanced just 5 miles.
On Sunday 13th November 2016 the one hundredth anniversary of The Battle of the Somme was remembered at the Remembrance Sunday Service.