The battle started on the 1st July 1916 and by the end of the day, the British had suffered 60,000 casualties, of whom approx. 20,000 were dead. Site of one of the largest battles of the Great War, it was not the decisive breakthrough it was intended to be and for many this is the battle that epitomizes the horrors of war, symbolising the futility of trench warfare. However, the battle rages on for months and a trip here with us can explore the one day or the whole battle and how it fits into the larger picture of the Great War.
Many of the soldiers who fought here were volunteers; hear the story of the Pals Battalions and the effects of this battle both here and at home. Communities were devastated as family members, friends and colleagues served and died together. Follow in the footsteps of these soldiers and find out how their courage and resolve allowed them to live and fight in these horrific conditions. 51 Victoria Crosses were awarded to British soldiers during the Battle of the Somme, standing testament to their bravery.
The contributions made by the many Commonwealth Countries who answered the call, coming from all corners of the globe, is a key part of the history of the battle and the war itself. They served alongside our own forces, defending the freedoms we enjoy today and the sacrifices they made are clear to see.
The battlefields of the Somme offer the opportunity for a truly memorable and awe-inspiring trip. The guide will help to explore the questions of why this battle took place here, who made the decision about walking across no-mans land and how the battle changed British military thinking and the public attitudes to the war. Using the sites, memorials, cemeteries and museums as windows into the past as well as being a living memory to the soldiers we will help to explore one of the most significant points in British history. Take an unforgettable tour with us and experience the true reality of these wars, which at times seem too impossible to even contemplate.
Key Subject Knowledge
- Medicine and medical evacuation
- Women and the First World War
- Diversity and the range of troops that served and where they came from
- Technology and how it changed over the war
- The Pals Battalions
- Daily life in the trenches
- The relationship between the Home Front and Western Front
- Propaganda and communication
- Commemoration and legacy
Also available supporting elements of wider Humanities (geography, English, social sciences and citizenship)
- The battlefield and the physical landscape
- War poetry and war artists
- Decision making in the British Armed Forces and the relationship between politicians and Generals
- The different faiths that were in the British Forces