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Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme

Staffordshire will be commemorating the historic Battle of the Somme with a free screening of the film made in its honour.

The Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford will be showing ‘The Battle of the Somme’ to mark the day of one of the Great War’s most decisive and bloody battles.

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The film was seen by 20 million people in Britain when it came out in 1916, making it one of the most popular films in British history.

Now the Imperial War Museum has restored the film and made it available to Staffordshire to mark the centenary anniversary of the battle.

Staffordshire played its part in the battle when the 137th Staffordshire Brigade formed part of the first wave of troops during the momentous assault.

Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member who is overseeing the county’s Great War commemorations said: “The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of the Great War. The film and its restoration now means we can see and appreciate the impact of the battle on the lives of so many 100 years ago.

“This unique showing of the film is one of many projects that are helping us understand more about the county’s important role during the Great War, while paying tribute to honour those who lost their lives during the conflict.”

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There were 57,740 casualties including 19,240 killed on the first day of the battle on 1 July 2016 and today it is remembered as one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history.

The film will be shown at the Shire Hall Gallery on Friday 16 September at 12pm and 4pm and is free to attend. Booking is essential and can be done by calling 01785 278345.

For more information about Staffordshire’s Great War story, visit http://www.staffordshiregreatwar.com

Photos reproduced with kind permission from the Imperial War Museum

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