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World War One Centenary

Centenary of The First World War 1914-1918 / 2014-2018

The Battle of the Somme Facts

  • Battle lasted 141 days (1 July 1916 to 18 November 1916)
  • The intent of the British was to attack and take control of a 24 km stretch of the River Somme
  • Bloodiest battle of The First World War. Over One Million dead
  • 57,470 casualties on the first day of which: 19,200 were killed, 35,000 wounded, 2152 missing, 583 Prisoners of War (PoWs)
  • Trench warfare was common during this time. The conditions in the trenches were cramped and uncomfortable and the drinking water was sometimes collected from holes made by enemy shells.
  • The Battle of the Somme saw several different weapons being used, including mines, poisonous gas and machine guns. Some larger field guns needed 12 men to operate them.
  • Tanks were first used during the Battle of the Somme. The first tank, known as Little Willie, was not able to drive across the trenches and could only reach speeds of about 3 km per hour.
  • When the battle had ended in mid-November, the British and French soldiers had only advanced about 8km. The battle ended partly because heavy rains made fighting too difficult.

To find out more about the national commemoration of The Battle of the Somme please visit: http://somme2016.org/en/

War Memorial Book

On 4 August 2014 The WW1 Project Team hosted a special rededication of Potter Street war memorial as well as a special service marking the centenary of the start of The First World War.

Research was carried out to identify the names and last resting place of those who died during the conflict. These have been recorded in a special illustrated book based on the original research by Arthur Graham and on a war memorials and war graves map.

To view the War Memorials and War Graves in Harlow or the illustrated book visit: www.harlow.gov.uk/ww1

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