To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of The Battle of The Somme, it’s time to publish our very own trench newspaper – created by museum visitors who came to see our special exhibition; The Other Side of No-Man’s Land.
The ‘Trench paper for Tommy’ project enabled children and families to find out more about what soldiers read in the trenches, and how publications like the famous ‘Wipers Times’ kept them entertained during even the most difficult of times.
“We wanted to create an activity which is linked to this important centenary year, but that also created something permanent,” explains the museum’s Learning Officer, Carl Watts.
“By looking at trench newspapers we’ve been able to see how, even in the most trying circumstances, people manage to find humour and creativity as a way of coping with their situation.
We’re really pleased with the way visitors contributed and helped us all build something together. By publishing our online trench newspaper on the 100th anniversary of the end of The Battle of the Somme, we’re hoping people will once again pause to remember the huge sacrifices made during that battle, which began on 1 July.
Thinking back to how long ago the beginning of July actually feels likes, puts into stark perspective the realities of how long that battle actually lasted.”
Those four and a half months resulted in more than 1.2million casualties.
At the close of the battle (18 November 1916), the British had seized a strip of territory six miles wide and 20 miles long, yet were still three miles from Bapaume and the French, further south, had stopped short of their original objective of Peronne. The Germans withdrew to a freshly prepared defensive position, known as The Hindenburg Line. It would be two more years before the war would end.
The museum team were on hand every day of the school holidays to help provide inspiration for content for the trench newspaper, which was split into four themes; adverts, cartoons and drawings, poems and songs, and reports and stories.
Read the first, and only, issue of The Daily Blast below (please note – the publication is hosted by an external provider who may include advertisements which are beyond our control)