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The Somme exhibition display panels

The Battle of the Somme is remembered today because of the 60,000 British casualties suffered on the first day of the battle on 1 July 1916.

Map of the Somme

This map of Somme area of France c1915 is from the Durham County Record Office ref. D/DLI 7/503/5:

Introduction to the Somme

The Battle of the Somme lasted from July to November 1916 and prevented the German Army from destroying the French Army at Verdun. When the battle ended the British Army had suffered 400,000 casualties. The 'Memorial to the Missing' at Thiepval in France lists the names of thousands of British soldiers still missing today somewhere on the Somme Battlefield. Images and information about the battle of Somme, including a map, some pictures and information about the DLI in 1916:

The First Day of the Somme

On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, over 300 men from the 18th Battalion DLI - the Durham Pals - were killed or wounded in the failed attack on Serre. Diaries and images detailing the first days of the battle of the Somme:

So Fine A Soldier

The musician, George Butterworth, died fighting on the Somme with the 13th Battalion DLI in August 1916. Information and images from the personal memories of two DLI soldiers; George Butterworth and Frederick Rees, who were soldiers in the battle of the Somme:

I'll Have to Stick It

Private Robert Constantine was killed in action with the 9th Battalion DLI on the Somme in September 1916. His family preserved the letters and postcards he sent home from the Western Front. Letters and cards sent by Robert Constantine to his family:

Dangerously Ill

Second Lieutenant Austen Wallis, 12th Battalion DLI, was badly wounded on the Somme in October 1916. His family kept the telegrams and letters that were sent to his father describing his wounds and treatment. Information on the illness and injury which occurred during the battle of the Somme. Letters and accounts of specific cases are included:

Of Doubtful Value

Three DLI battalions took part in the unsuccessful attack on the Butte de Warlencourt on 5 November 1916. A few weeks later the Battle of the Somme ended. A Panel of information including letters maps and pictures, detailing the attack on the Butte de Warlencourt:

No Common Monument

Three wooden crosses were erected on top of the Butte de Warlencourt in memory of the DLI soldiers who died during the attack on the hill. In 1926 these crosses were brought home to the North East. Information about memorial crosses erected for DLI soldiers, in the form off cuttings from news papers and other articles:

Visited by the Baby Killers

Life on the Home Front in County Durham in 1916, as seen through the pages of local newspapers. A Information panel with graphics and text about the battle of the Somme:

For your County, For your Country

The names of local men who died on the Somme in 1916 are recorded on War Memorials across County Durham. Articles and informational text about the battle of the Somme, shows memorials to those who died in the Great War:

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