(I normally don’t post about history unrelated to education, but wanted to make an exception here. I’ve been researching the 1900-1920 period for a few years, including the First World War, and prepared the following for another website. I thought you, my readers, might find this of interest. Let me know if you’d like more of this sort of thing.)
On July 1st 1916 began the deadliest day in British history. One hundred years ago today, British imperial soldiers left their trenches to attack German lines supposedly suppressed by an extraordinary artillery barrage. By the day’s end 20,000 of them would be dead, the first casualties of nearly half a million by the terrible battle’s end. All told almost a million casualties occurred on all sides, the Somme became Britain’s iconic WWI event, and the struggle has been controversial ever since.
A BBC gallery. 27 images from the Telegraph. Photos colorized and annotated. More photos.
Photos, maps, paintings from from Wikimedia Commons.
Pierre’s photo impressions.
From the Canadian War Museum.
Items in the Europeana collection. More than 1000 hits (!) in the First World War British Poetry Archive.
Flickr photos. Pins from Pinterest.
Timeline of the full almost five months long battle.
Very detailed map.
A film shot in 1916, during the battle:
Reporter Philip Gibbs describes the battle.
Alfred Ball, one soldier’s account.
Alfred Dambitsch on destructive technology.
Commanding general Douglas Haig‘s summary of the battle at year’s end.
German Crown Prince Rupprecht reflects on the British attack during the battle.
The German official statement.
John Buchan‘s 1916 account (between bouts of writing spy fiction about WWI).
The first appearance of the tank in war.
A 1918 Michelin book, “In memory of the Michelin workmen and employees who died gloriously for their country”, followed by their 1919 battlefield guide.
John Masefield‘s 1919 history.
Alan Seeger‘s death; “I Have A Rendezvous With Death”.
On the French role and the German experience.
From a 1916 British film.
From a 1927 British film.
Interviews with veterans, combined with contemporary footage.
Archaeological digs into British and German trenches.
“The devil is coming”, the BBC’s 1964 documentary. A 1976 documentary , narrated by Leo McKern. A more recent BBC work.
Here Comes Kitchener’s Army.
2006 BBC/Open University documentary.
Examining contemporary footage.