The Battle of the Somme

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by jragusa3
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Social Studies
World War I

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The Battle of the Somme

The War FilmsO living pictures of the dead, O songs without a sound, O fellowship whose phantom tread Hallows a phantom ground -- How in a gleam have these revealed The faith we had not found. We have sought God in a cloudy Heaven, We have passed by God on earth: His seven sins and his sorrows seven, His wayworn mood and mirth, Like a ragged cloak have hid from us The secret of his birth. Brother of men, when now I seeThe lads go forth in line, Thou knowest my heart is hungry in me As for thy bread and wine; Thou knowest my heart is bowed in me To take their death for mine.

This poem was written by Henry Newbolt in October of 1916. It is based on the Battle of the Somme, and he wrote it after seeing footage of the battle in the documentary "The War Films". He is saying he respects the sacrifices the soldiers made for their country.

The Battle of the SommeBy: Julia Ragusa and Rebecca Dundon

For the first time in history tanks were developed and used in the Somme battle. However, the tanks were not very effective or helpful to the British. Most of this battle was fought in trenches where soldiers lived under harsh living conditions. Soldiers used gas masks to protect against poison gas attacks from both sides. As a result of the battle, both sides lost over one million men combined. Neither side officially won the battle but the Germans advanced about four miles near Verdun. Also, the British gained approximately five miles near the Somme Valley.

The battle of the Somme began on July 1st, 1916 in northern France by the Somme River and ended on the 18th of November that same year. This battle occured due to the British attacking the Germans because they wanted to help France; Britian and France were allies. The British bombed the Germans heavily for about a week which caused the Germans to launch a counter attack. Over 57,000 British troops were killed on the first day as a result.

Soldiers fighting with tanks during the Battle of the Somme.

This song is called Battle of the Somme Bagpipes. It was played in 1918 in the middle of battle by Piper James Richardson and written by Robert Meldrum. Piper James Richardson played this tune amidst the Germans firing against the British-French trench.


Soldiers are using gas masks to protect themselves from poison gas.