Battle of the Somme

The Battle Of The Somme, one of the largest of the First World War, saw over one million men killed or wounded.

The 36th (Ulster) Division are remembered as being one of the first groups to go ‘over the top’ when the battle commenced on the morning of July 1st, 1916. In the course of two days combat, 5,500 men were killed, wounded or taken prisoners from a divisional strength of 15,000.

Men of the 36th (Ulster) Division managed to advance nearly one mile to the fifth line of German trenches and capture the Schwaben Redoubt, one of the toughest German strongholds on the Western Front. The 36th (Ulster) Division was one of the few British Army divisions to capture some of their objectives on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

From September 3rd – 9th, 1916 it was the turn of the (16th) Irish Division who attacked the village of Guillemont-Ginchy, achieving an important victory but at great cost. Out of 2,400 men who began the battle, 1,147 were killed or wounded. The men of the (16th) Irish Division received over 300 military decorations for their bravery during the Battle of the Somme.