The battle started on the 1st July 1916 and by the end of the day, the British had suffered 60,000 casualties, of whom approx. 20,000 were dead. Site of one of the largest battles of the Great War, it was not the decisive breakthrough it was intended to be and for many this is the battle that epitomizes the horrors of war, symbolising the futility of trench warfare.
Many of the soldiers who fought here were volunteers; hear the story of the Pals Battalions and the effects of this battle both here and at home. Communities were devastated as family members, friends and colleagues served and died together. Follow in the footsteps of these soldiers and find out how their courage and resolve allowed them to live and fight in these horrific conditions. 51 Victoria Crosses were awarded to British soldiers during the Battle of the Somme, standing testament to their bravery.
The contributions made by the many Commonwealth Countries who answered the call, coming from all corners of the globe, must also never be forgotten. They served alongside our own forces, defending the freedoms we enjoy today and the sacrifices they made are clear to see from the many memorials and cemeteries throughout the Somme.
The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme features the names of over 72,000 British and South African soldiers. The largest British Mine Crater can be found at La Boisselle, whilst Ulster Tower commemorates those from Ulster that fell. The sites, memorials, cemeteries and museums stand proudly as a living memory to these soldiers and are moving reminders.
The battlefields of the Somme offer the opportunity for a truly memorable and awe-inspiring trip. Take an unforgettable tour with us and experience the true reality of these wars, which at times seem too impossible to even contemplate.