The Battle of the Somme Centenary

2016 marks the centenary of the the Battle of the Somme. The commemoration is being lead by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on behalf of the UK Government and the French Government in partnership with Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Royal British Legion, to build a program of events which reflect the significance of the First World War Somme campaign.


Hampshire Libraries will be commemorating the occasion in all our branches with informative leaflets, books displays and film screenings. At Winchester Discovery Centre, Farnborough Library, Gosport Discovery Centre and Aldershot Library there will be specialised displays about Hampshire’s links to the war.

We will be screening the Battle of the Somme documentary at Basingstoke Discovery Centre on the 19 July. Released in August 1916, barely a month after the events it depicted, it is estimated that over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release. Cinema-goers hailed it as an opportunity to see the reality of the Western Front for the first time, and to share the experiences of the soldiers who were fighting there, take this rare opportunity to come and watch this ground breaking documentary for yourself. You will need to book in advance so you don’t miss out.

As well as our in branch activities, we have a range of resources available too. You can access eBooks for free with your Hampshire Libraries membership, if you want to red more about the Battle of the Somme, we have a selection of eBooks available about the battle, and we also have military history if you have a more general interest. Take a look at our eMagazines, which you can download for free from your computer or mobile device, we have several history eMagazines including All About History, and BBC History.

If you want to do a bit of research for yourself, you can look at all the free resources in our Digital Library, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Times Digital Archive, and Credo Reference to name a few.

We hope that you will use your local library as not only a hub of information, but a space in your community where you can come and remember all those involved.


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