Battle of the Somme Footage (1916). We Salute you all.

Battle of the Somme Footage (1916)

“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic”

In my opinion every death is a tragedy

Irish Soldiers in the Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme, whose 90th anniversary we commemorate this year, began on 1 July 1916 in the high expectation of a major victory that would bring the carnage of the First World War to an end. By the time it petered out in the rain and snow of the following November, more than one million soldiers from both sides had died without making any appreciable alteration in the opening position.  Among the dead were over 3,500 Irish soldiers, with many more wounded. This large loss of life was made even more horrendous by its occurrence within the short space of the first day of the Battle and two days in the following September. In particular, the 5,500 casualties of the 36th Ulster Division on 1 July were men drawn almost entirely from one community in the province of Ulster. Nearly 2,000 soldiers from cities, towns, villages and town lands of the North were killed in the first few hours of fighting, an event which seared itself into the folk memory of their community. In a continuation of the same battle, the 16th Irish Division had 4,330 casualties in September, of whom 1,200 were killed. These came mainly from the other three provinces. Added to these were the Irish soldiers who fought in other divisions as part of the regular army or in the newly raised battalions. The total number of Irish casualties cannot be calculated with certainty but they affected every part of the island and continue to have an influence on the evolution of Irish politics.

We salute you all

Battle of the Somme Footage (1916). A Day that Shook the World. The Battle of the Somme began on July 1st, 1916 during World War One. A bloody battle that claimed more than 1 million casualties over a 5 month period. John Humphrys narrates. Includes footage of the battle.

A Day That Shook The World is the classic series that recalls the days of the 20th century that proved to be era-defining and pivotal in the course of modern history.

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