Beyond The Somme Centenary


A century ago the Battle of the Somme had come to an end. The scale of fighting had been drastically reduced since the last major attack on 18th November, but there was much ‘localised’ action after this, often not always recorded in the pages of the official histories. Gradually the weather worsened, and the winter of 1916/17 turned into the worst of the war, with temperatures dropping to minus 25 on the Somme front.

For us a century later it seems as if the Somme is over. The centenary has passed, the people who have visited this year returned home, and the battlefields quiet once more. But of course they are never truly quiet, if we chose to listen. The Somme was a turning point not just in the war but in Britain’s history and interest in it will never fade away. Somehow we will always return to the Somme, and that is just as it should be.

And of course the Somme’s story is far from over; the war came back to Picardy in 1918 with the German offensive that swept across the ground in the spring, through to the beginning of the end of the war with the breakout on the Somme in August 1918.

This blog will return for coverage of that in 2018 but for next year you can follow a new blog:

2 thoughts on “Beyond The Somme Centenary

  1. My Grandfather was taken as a POW there – sent to Holzminden and did survive the war (obviously) LOL. I wish I had, had time to talk with him about his experiences

  2. When the sugar-beet fields of northern France and Belgium were destroyed and consequently there was a shortage of sugar in Britain. There was also a little knownstruggle in Cuba between the Conservadors and the Liberales (who were de facto allies of German).Here is a snippet from my book in progress:

    Even partisan liberal historian Christopher Hull admits the presence of a pro-German faction in Cuba: Hull, Christopher 2013 Chapter 3 The First World War to Boom and Bust in: British Diplomacy and US Hegemony in Cuba, 1898 1964 Note that this chapter as a pdf published by Palgrave differs somewhat from the Springer edit (i) The Graphic: An Illustrated Weekly Newspaper Volume 97 May 4, 1918. Page 552 ‎Snippet view: “…Through their Minister in London, General Garcia y Velez, the Island Republic has given many proofs of friendship to th ion(sic) book of the same name and author published by Springer in 2013, not only in have less unjustified disparaging remarks about Cuban nationals including granduncle Carlos García Vélez and their personal motives and omitting the support Cuba offered Britain during the first World War. … However, the Springer edition on pages 56-57 notes the presence of a pro-German minority, without really clarifying the influence that this pro-German minority had on the Chambelona war. Apparently, the author when he writes page 56 of the Springer Edition that “…Cuba was largely unaffected by the war [that is WW1] …” he ignores the havok that the pro-German sentiment of the Partido Liberal had that this little Cuban war provoked in the Cuban countryside. …” [The smuggling of sugar from Cuba to Great Britain directed by Granduncle Carlos García Vélez, described in other chapters, is inferred, but not directly mentioned here].

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