Wednesday, 1 July 2009


"Exactly at 7.30 AM an uncanny silence fell over the battlefield. The British barrage suddenly ceased as it lifted from the German front line and gun-layers adjusted their sights for the next target. By strange coincidence, the German guns, too, were silent. It was eerie; the sun was shining out of a cloudless sky, birds hovered and swooped over the trenches, singing clearly. ... After a few seconds the quiet was shattered as the British barrage fell upon the next line of enemy defences. In their own trenches whistles blew, shouts came from the platoon and section commanders. The Battle of the Somme had started."

Beginning at 7.30 AM on Saturday 1 July 1916 The Battle of the Somme was probably the biggest battle the British army would ever fight in a single day. The human cost was staggering.

19,240 killed or died of wounds
35,493 wounded
2,152 missing
585 prisoners

Last year we went on a family holiday to the Somme region of Northern France, it is known as 'The Poppy Country'. Here are some of the photos taken of that region, it's memorials and cemeteries, not just those associated with The Battle of the Somme but the First World War in general. Many of these photos were taken by my nephew who was nine at the time and they reflect what was of interest to him.

Quotes and statistics were taken from 'The First Day of the The Somme' by Martin Middlebrook, published by Penguin. Poppies photo shows two panels of the Poppy Screen from Millennia Designs, stitched by my Dad!


lenna said...

Your Dad's panels are awesome beyond . . . he does an incredible job!
By the way, is he married? I am looking for that guy who loves that you stitch and would actually take you to a cross stitch store.
But I won't be holding my breath!
You must be proud of him. My youngest son shows the most promise to someday be a stitcher. My only daughter, is a poet instead. Hey, I sure can't do that. But I do wish she stitched... instead she writes poetry and has babies and lives in Cape Town S. A.
Love your blog ~ come visit mine ~
Take care ~
God Bless ~

valerie said...

Wow, those poppy panels are amazing! I can't believe your dad stitched them!

Flo said...

Seeing the two panels together is great. They look fantastic.
The pics from the Somme are beautiful, they seem so calm( if that's the feeling I'm looking for) unlike the actual time which must have been horrific and deafening. Your nephew certainly takes some good photos.

Cindy F. said...

Your Dad's stitching is AMAZING!!!
Such beautiful panels!

And beautiful pics taken by your nephew!

Such sad history and fascinating at the same time. Thanks for sharing:)

Anonymous said...

Love those poppies!


Anonymous said...