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Somme 1916: From Durham to the Western Front

Palace Green Library, 25 March – 2 October 2016


100 years on, this commemorative exhibition will explore the reality of the Battle of the Somme through the eyes of the people from County Durham who were there.

During the First World War, battle after battle was fought by the British Army on the Western Front in Belgium and France.

A century later, the Battle of the Somme stands out as one of the largest offensives of World War I. With over 1 million casualties, the popular view of the offensive is of brave young soldiers and callous generals, doomed attacks and senseless slaughter.

But is this view mistaken? What really happened in 1916?

Somme 1916: From Durham to the Western Front tells the stories of the people from County Durham caught up in the battle: the men who fought and died on the battlefield; the women who nursed the wounded and comforted the dying; and the workers who toiled in factories, mines and shipyards across the county to support the war effort.

Somme Film: The exhibition includes excerpts from original footage of the Somme Battlefield which some people may find distressing. Those with a history of photosensitive epilepsy or seizures should be aware that the films featured in the exhibition may affect this condition. Viewer discretion is advised.

Durham University is working in partnership with Durham County Council on this exhibition, which will showcase items from the Durham Light Infantry Museum and Archive collections.

County Durham has been officially twinned with the Somme region in France for over 30 years. For more information about County Durham’s First World War centenary commemorations, visit the Durham Remembers website.


This is a past exhibition. Please visit our What's On pages for current exhibitions and events.

Bugler Sounding The Last Post


Watch our Somme 1916 video


WATCH OUR VIDEO