battle of the somme
In the 100 years since the savagery of the Somme, the world has changed in innumerable ways. Many of the technological advancements that caused this change have also served to make the mechanics of war more efficient and even more brutal. I hope that by bringing war's horrors home, these advancements also serve to make its possibility much more distant.
'From that moment all my religion died.'
A collection of more than 500 first-hand accounts, some of which have never been seen before, have revealed graphic details
By working across communities, we can identify and shape ways that can generate positive narratives and actions, and build a more cohesive Britain - one that engages confidently with the world because we are also reaching out to those who feel left behind. A Britain that our grandfathers would be proud of.
Young men handed out cards detailing names and ages of soldiers who died in the bloody battle.
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Reflecting back on that one day of senseless slaughter helps us to look forward. This weekend people around the country will pause and think about the First World War. It is a measure of our common decency that despite WW1 being a war of history, not memory, we commemorate it. Every part of our country has its own story. Of the 16,000 towns and villages across Britain in 1914, only 40 thankful parishes would see the return by 1918 of all who had left for the conflict. The horror of that appalling loss will live on for future generations as we learn the lessons of our past.
Someone once said that all art is political. I'm not sure that is completely true because while many artists do cross into the political arena, there are plenty of others too wrapped up in themselves to care about anything else apart from their own personal universe.
These incredible pictures taken by a soldier during the First World War were recently published having only been discovered
There for Them Then, Still Here for Them Now - Why We Must Not Forget the Families on Armed Forces Day
The bottom line for us is providing support - support for those who have done or are doing their bit for our country, and their families, making sure that when they are in need, we are there for them. They have made their selfless contribution and the least that we can do is be there for them in return.