The 1916 Somme offensive was one of the greatest battles of World War One (1914-18). The opening day of the attack, 1 July 1916, saw the British Army sustain 57,000 casualties, the bloodiest day in its history. The campaign finally ended in mid-November after an agonising five-month struggle that failed to secure a breakthrough.

The Territorials at Pozières, 23 July 1916.

The Territorials at Pozières, 23 July 1916.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 4 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 4 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 3 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 3 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 2 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 2 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 1 of 4.

Service dress tunic 1913-20 pattern, 1 Jul 1916. 1 of 4.

18th King George's Own Lancers near Mametz, Somme, July 1916.

18th King George’s Own Lancers near Mametz, Somme, July 1916.

German trench map of the area north of Bray-sur-Somme, 1916.

German trench map of the area north of Bray-sur-Somme, 1916.

Empty shell dump, July 1916.

Empty shell dump, July 1916.

A tug-of-war between British and French troops, September 1916.

A tug-of-war between British and French troops, September 1916.

Soldiers leaning on a pile of 18-pounder shells, Somme 1916.

Soldiers leaning on a pile of 18-pounder shells, Somme 1916.

Hauling a 60-pounder on the Somme, October 1916.

Hauling a 60-pounder on the Somme, October 1916.

Royal Engineers in a communication trench, 1916.

Royal Engineers in a communication trench, 1916.

German prisoners at Dernancourt, 15 September 1916.

German prisoners at Dernancourt, 15 September 1916.

Tending a grave near Mametz Wood, August 1916.

Tending a grave near Mametz Wood, August 1916.

A coffee break, November 1916.

A coffee break, November 1916.

Collecting water on the Somme, August 1916.

Collecting water on the Somme, August 1916.

Lorry transport on the Somme, September 1916.

Lorry transport on the Somme, September 1916.

Transport difficulties on the Somme front, 16 December 1916.

Transport difficulties on the Somme front, 16 December 1916.

18th King George's Own Lancers, on the Somme, 15 July 1916.

18th King George’s Own Lancers, on the Somme, 15 July 1916.

High explosive shells bursting in Mametz Wood.

High explosive shells bursting in Mametz Wood.

Bombing the Germans out of their deep dugouts, 1916.

Bombing the Germans out of their deep dugouts, 1916.

Scottish troops carrying out road repairs on the Somme, 1916.

Scottish troops carrying out road repairs on the Somme, 1916.

Welsh Guards in a reserve trench on the Somme, Sept 1916.

Welsh Guards in a reserve trench on the Somme, Sept 1916.

British War Medal, 1914-20 awarded to Corporal Henry Eggleston.

British War Medal, 1914-20 awarded to Corporal Henry Eggleston.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler - 1916 - 3 of 3

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler – 1916 – 3 of 3

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler - 1916 - 2 of 3

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler – 1916 – 2 of 3

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler - 1916 - 1 of 3

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler – 1916 – 1 of 3

General Aylmer Hunter-Weston's message, 4 July 1916.

General Aylmer Hunter-Weston’s message, 4 July 1916.

Letter from Capt Victor Allen to Miss Cross, Aug 1916. 2 of 2.

Letter from Capt Victor Allen to Miss Cross, Aug 1916. 2 of 2.

Letter from Capt Victor Allen to Miss Cross, Aug 1916. 1 of 2.

Letter from Capt Victor Allen to Miss Cross, Aug 1916. 1 of 2.

Letter to Miss Cross, 27 August 1916.

Letter to Miss Cross, 27 August 1916.

German dead on the Somme, 6 September 1916.

German dead on the Somme, 6 September 1916.

Loading a 15-inch howitzer on the Somme, 7 August 1916.

Loading a 15-inch howitzer on the Somme, 7 August 1916.

8-inch howitzers of 135th Siege Battery at La Houssoye, 1916.

8-inch howitzers of 135th Siege Battery at La Houssoye, 1916.

Dugouts on the Somme, September 1916.

Dugouts on the Somme, September 1916.

Loading a 9.45 inch trench mortar on the Somme, August 1916.

Loading a 9.45 inch trench mortar on the Somme, August 1916.

A trench interior, Somme, July 1916.

A trench interior, Somme, July 1916.

Lewis gunner on the firing step of a trench, 1916.

Lewis gunner on the firing step of a trench, 1916.

British soldiers with wounded German prisoners, July 1916.

British soldiers with wounded German prisoners, July 1916.

The Battle of Ginchy, 9 September 1916.

The Battle of Ginchy, 9 September 1916.

New Zealand troops loading ammunition limbers, Sept 1918.

New Zealand troops loading ammunition limbers, Sept 1918.

The visit of David Lloyd George, 12 September 1916.

The visit of David Lloyd George, 12 September 1916.

Burial service near Maricourt, 11 August 1916.

Burial service near Maricourt, 11 August 1916.

French generals examine captured German dug outs, Somme, 1916.

French generals examine captured German dug outs, Somme, 1916.

French First Aid Post on the Somme Battlefield, 1916.

French First Aid Post on the Somme Battlefield, 1916.

French Infantry crawling to the Attack' on the Somme, 1916.

French Infantry crawling to the Attack’ on the Somme, 1916.

Mark I tank, 'C19', 'Clan Leslie', 1916.

Mark I tank, ‘C19’, ‘Clan Leslie’, 1916.

General Hubert Gough and King Albert of the Belgians, 1917.

General Hubert Gough and King Albert of the Belgians, 1917.

Letter from Lance-Corporal Albert H Haughton, August 1916.

Letter from Lance-Corporal Albert H Haughton, August 1916.

Victoria Cross awarded to Private Frederick Edwards, 1916.

Victoria Cross awarded to Private Frederick Edwards, 1916.

Indian cavalry await the order to advance on the Somme, 1916.

Indian cavalry await the order to advance on the Somme, 1916.

The detonation of a mine on the Somme, 1916.

The detonation of a mine on the Somme, 1916.

Bringing in a wounded man of the 29th Division, 1 July 1916.

Bringing in a wounded man of the 29th Division, 1 July 1916.

Resting in a trench, 1 July 1916.

Resting in a trench, 1 July 1916.

British wounded at an Advanced Dressing Station, 1916.

British wounded at an Advanced Dressing Station, 1916.

Soldiers Advancing across no man's land in the mist

Soldiers Advancing across no man’s land in the mist

Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916.

Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916.

British and German wounded, Bernafay Wood, France, July 1916.

British and German wounded, Bernafay Wood, France, July 1916.

French and British soldiers on the Somme, 7 July 1916.

French and British soldiers on the Somme, 7 July 1916.

Captain Reginald James Young, winning the Military Cross, 1916.

Captain Reginald James Young, winning the Military Cross, 1916.

The Wipers Times', No. 3, Vol 1, Monday 6 March 1916. 2 of 2.

The Wipers Times’, No. 3, Vol 1, Monday 6 March 1916. 2 of 2.

The Wipers Times', No. 3, Vol 1, Monday 6 March 1916. 1 of 2.

The Wipers Times’, No. 3, Vol 1, Monday 6 March 1916. 1 of 2.

Newspaper: The “Better Times”, No. 2, Vol. 1, December 1918.

Newspaper: The “Better Times”, No. 2, Vol. 1, December 1918.

The B.E.F. Times', No. 2 8 September 1917.

The B.E.F. Times’, No. 2 8 September 1917.

The 'New Church' Times, No. 2 Vol. 1, 2 May 1916. 2 of 2.

The ‘New Church’ Times, No. 2 Vol. 1, 2 May 1916. 2 of 2.

The 'New Church' Times, No. 2 Vol. 1, 2 May 1916. 1 of 2.

The ‘New Church’ Times, No. 2 Vol. 1, 2 May 1916. 1 of 2.

Wanted Smart and Intelligent Young Men…

Wanted Smart and Intelligent Young Men…

Mortar bombs in a reserve trench ready for use, September 1916.

Mortar bombs in a reserve trench ready for use, September 1916.

An Advanced Dressing Station, August 1916.

An Advanced Dressing Station, August 1916.

Mr Ben Tillett admires the Bosche Pills', 1916.

Mr Ben Tillett admires the Bosche Pills’, 1916.

Troops billeted in a wrecked factory, 8 March 1918.

Troops billeted in a wrecked factory, 8 March 1918.

The Crozat Canal, 1918.

The Crozat Canal, 1918.

Picardy in the great Somme push, 1916.

Picardy in the great Somme push, 1916.

A column of 18 Pounder QF Mark 1 guns, 1916 (c).

A column of 18 Pounder QF Mark 1 guns, 1916 (c).

A Royal Field Artillery 18-pounder battery, 1914 (c).

A Royal Field Artillery 18-pounder battery, 1914 (c).

Mk 1 tank during training at Elveden, Suffolk, 1916.

Mk 1 tank during training at Elveden, Suffolk, 1916.

German barbed wire at Beaucourt, November 1916.

German barbed wire at Beaucourt, November 1916.

A Mark I tank surrounded by troops of 122nd Brigade, 1916.

A Mark I tank surrounded by troops of 122nd Brigade, 1916.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 4 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 4 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 3 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 3 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 2 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 2 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 1 of 4.

Diary of RQMS James Edward Littler, 1918. Page 1 of 4.

FM Viscount Montgomery, 17 May 1915

FM Viscount Montgomery, 17 May 1915

White City', located near Beaumont Hamel on the Somme, 1916.

White City’, located near Beaumont Hamel on the Somme, 1916.

Field Marshal Lord Kitchener inspecting troops, Halton, 1914.

Field Marshal Lord Kitchener inspecting troops, Halton, 1914.

General Sir Douglas Haig.

General Sir Douglas Haig.

Our cavalry pursue the defeated enemy ...', 9 August 1918.

Our cavalry pursue the defeated enemy …’, 9 August 1918.

British tank amid the ruins of Bapaume...', 1918.

British tank amid the ruins of Bapaume…’, 1918.

With the Canadians in the Great Battle, 1918.

With the Canadians in the Great Battle, 1918.

German soldiers killed in the August offensive, 1918.

German soldiers killed in the August offensive, 1918.

Haig Map Somme NW

Haig Map Somme NW

Haig Map Somme SE, Map2

Haig Map Somme SE, Map2

Haig Map Somme SE, Map1

Haig Map Somme SE, Map1

Haig Map Somme NE, Map2

Haig Map Somme NE, Map2

Haig Map Somme NE, Map1

Haig Map Somme NE, Map1

Haig Map Somme SW

Haig Map Somme SW

Haig Map Somme NW

Haig Map Somme NW