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Pilot ended 1st October 2016
Ghosts of Thiepval VR trailer

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It's 1 July 1916 – the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Step inside the trenches of Thiepval Wood and go over the top as surviving soldiers recall their experiences.
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The Inside Story

Warren Bell, a Producer for Digital & Learning, told us about the project

Can you sum up the project in a sentence?

Ghosts of Thiepval is a virtual reality experience taking you into the trenches at the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916.

What happens during the experience?

Users can step inside recreations of the actual trench systems in Thiepval Wood on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. As you are taken through the trenches you hear veterans speak of the realities of war in this environment. It’s a unique opportunity for people to see for themselves what life was like in the trenches as troops prepared to go over the top.

How was it made?

In 2004, the Somme Association took ownership of Thiepval Wood and rebuilt the World War One trenches exactly as they would have been in 1916. In partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, the Belfast based agency Enter Yes mapped and photographed these trenches, building a faithful virtual reality environment from them in close consultation with the Somme Association. This journey through the trenches is narrated by the voices of men who survived the Battle of the Somme.

What do you want to find out from this being on Taster?

People usually learn about this kind of history through written accounts or straightforward audio and video. We want to discover if people think this kind of experience is a more engaging way of learning about the realities of the Battle of the Somme.  

Ghosts of Thiepval VR