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Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme – July 1st 1916 – November 18th 1916

The Battle of the Somme was fought at such terrible cost that it has come to symbolise the tragic futility of the First World War. Its first day of conflict remains the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army and it was felt deeply at home.

Many of the soldiers who had signed up were everyday young men from close-knit communities across the UK who subsequently suffered horrible losses of 420,000 casualties by the end of the battle for the British with 60,000 of these happening on the first day. They were good friends, neighbours and colleagues who signed up together on the promise they would serve alongside each other. It sounded easy. These patriotic volunteers were sold on the romance of war, “Your Country Needs You”, and became known as the ‘Pals’ battalions.

The 100th anniversary provides an opportunity to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the battle, to reflect upon the human cost of conflict and to have hope for a more peaceful world.

Watch Newsround to see some of our UCA students paying their respects below.  

Lest we Forget