Tribute To The Centenary Of Battle Of The Somme

This year’s Armed Forces Day included an exhibition to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Armed Forces Day 2016, in association with Forces Recruitment Services, was held at Himley Hall and Park on Sunday 26 June to celebrate the work of servicemen and women both past and present.

The council’s archives service worked closely with local volunteer, Roy Gilbert, who is also a member of the Friends of Dudley Archives to produce an exhibition to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

The battle started on 1 July and ended four and a half months later on 18 November 1916. The first day of conflict remains the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. Councillor Mohammed Hanif, The Mayor of Dudley, said,

“Many of the soldiers who had signed up were everyday young men from close-knit communities and included many from the borough.

“The exhibition is full of detail about the battle and will continue to run at Dudley Archives which is based at Tipton Road, Dudley.”

The patriotic volunteers were good friends, neighbours and colleagues and were sold on the romance of war, ‘Your Country Needs You’ and became known as the ‘Pals’ battalions.

In total, 60 nations from across the British Empire and Europe were involved in the fighting and by the end of the fighting on 18 November 1916, the Battle of the Somme had claimed a million casualties.


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