The Story of the Somme 1916 - an introduction

30th June 1916. The sun sets over the Somme, but the artillery bombardment continues. Thousands of men wait for first light. Dawn breaks: it is a bright, sunny day. The artillery bombardment lifts. 7.30 am: whistles sound along the lines. The men scramble up the ladders and out of the trenches. The largest British army ever mustered goes over the top. One hundred and forty-one days’ fighting begins.

One hundred years later, we keep vigil to remember those who fought in the Somme Offensive. As we keep watch, we hear their story. We listen to their voices and the voices of their families; the voices of those who worked behind the lines and in the war effort at home; and to German voices.

Somme Vigil

The Somme 100 vigil - an introduction

Listen to this introduction and then follow the individual stories throughout the night as they describe the Battle of the Somme in their own words.


The Somme 100 vigil - timeline

This timeline will give you an insight into the individuals whose stories will be told and the time during the vigil when they will appear.


Institure of Education [Logo] First World War Centeneary [Logo] School Travel Service [Logo] Best Educational Product [Logo] Education Award

Department for Education [Logo] Department for Communities and Local Government

Commonwealth Wargraves Commission [Logo] Guild of Battlefield Guides [Logo] Lives of the First World War [Logo] BBC News School Report [Logo] NSI [Logo]