TAMESIDE Armed Services Community and Portland Basin have launched exhibitions to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme.
The battle, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German empire.
It is remembered as one of the bloodiest battles in human history. During the first day of fighting alone, the British army had suffered nearly 60,000 casualties, 20,000 of them fatal.
The commemorative display at the Local Studies Archive features the stories of nine men, one from each of Tameside’s nine towns, who made the ultimate sacrifice at the battle. The soldiers have been researched by and are linked to the stories of nine present day veterans from the same towns, who have collectively served in all three armed services.
The display, created by current veterans, is set up in the atrium in order to be accessible to all and will be on display for three weeks.
The commemorative exhibition at Portland Basin, which opened on 1 July, includes historical artefacts from the battle such as an original grave marker* and medals awarded to local people, such as John Hallows**, who fought in the battle. Further information is also available on the ‘Men Behind the Medals’ website which can be found at http://www.themenbehindthemedals.org.uk/.
This exhibition runs until November 2016.
Tameside Armed Services Community has been formed to support the ongoing work of The Armed Forces Covenant in Tameside. More details can be found on their website www.tamesideasc.org.uk.