Ideas for Assemblies: Battle of the Somme

By Sue Temple and Jules Wooding, published 3rd June 2016

Commemorating the Battle of the Somme through an assembly is not an easy task and one which needs careful thought and preparation. This battle officially started on 1 July 1916, after a week-long artillery bombardment, though both British and French commanders had prepared for the offensive for several months. To highlight the location it is worth looking at a map of the area –  the Somme is the name of the river. The area this battle focused on is only 22km yet thousands of men were mobilised for action.

Unlike those of our Allies, the British Army was quite small, but by 1916 Britain was prepared to undertake a major offensive. Many men who had volunteered from August 1914 were now trained to fight. Some of these  men had been encouraged to volunteer together, to serve with their friends and colleagues in ‘Pals’ battalions – men
from the same street or factory in urban areas, or the  same village in more rural areas. The huge casualty toll therefore had devastating consequences for these areas...

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