BBC BLOGS - The Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

Somme memories

Vicky Taylor | 09:59 UK time, Wednesday, 28 June 2006

About a week ago, when we first asked people if they had family relatives who had fought in the Somme, we were surprised to get over 50 e-mails back within an hour. Now the page has just under 500 contributions, many of course with moving, heroic tales of how young lives were lost. Photographs too - obviously carefully kept in a cupboard over the years, now in the computer age, scanned and shared with thousands.

A graphic of the BBC News websiteNews 24 and the Six O'Clock News have been reporting from France and asking for people's memories. This is one of the responses, which came from a 16-year-old boy:

"I've been watching your series on The Somme with fascination, as I have just been on a school trip with other Year 11s to visit the whole Western Front. It was an amazing experience, once in a lifetime, and totally unexpectedly I found I had an ancestor who had died on the Somme, and who is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. The experience was totally awe-inspiring, and moved me to researching my great-great-great-great- uncle's history."

I read this after spending an hour at a rather down-beat presentation about public participation in civic life and why Britain fares so badly compared to other European countries and the United States.

To find that so many people want to share something of an event which happened 90 years ago certainly helped me put some of those findings in perspective.


  • 1.
  • At 08:22 PM on 28 Jun 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

Interactivity ? That sounds like a very interesting programme. Can you tell us what channel it is on, and at what time, so we can all tune in?

  • 2.
  • At 03:39 PM on 29 Jun 2006,
  • charles harry griffiths wrote:

i am pleased with the BBC coverage of WW1, only wish somewhere in the programme the RN Division had a mention. its war record as always been of special interest to me. my uncle Charles was killed in that conflict

  • 3.
  • At 10:39 AM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Mrs Janet Miller wrote:

I have recently jointed the ranks of on-line genealogists after watching your second excellent series. I found that not only was my grandfather, David Vaughan Davies born in 1894 in North Wales, one of the fourtunate ones who survived the Somme and Pasiondale ending the war fit and healthy as a colour sergent but my husband's grandfather, George Coombes Miller also fought on the Somme and survived but unfortunately was gassed at some point although he lived till 1930 and fathered four children three still living. History touches us all and it is both fastinating and moving to research ones family and find are roots and it brings events like the aniversary of the battle of the Somme into perspective and lets us see why it is so important to remember.

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.