Remembering the Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in history. It took place in Northern France around the River Somme from 1 July to 18 November 1916. Now, a century later, our education pack is designed to help teachers introduce aspects of the Battle of the Somme and the ways in which it is being remembered.

The pack contains resources to help students develop a deeper knowledge and understanding ofthe conflict. It covers topics including experiences of the Somme from around the Commonwealth, Pals Battalions, conscription, recruitment and remembrance today.

The materials are designed to be flexible and adaptable. They can be used as starting points for individual lessons or activities, or form part of a larger cross- curricular project with a partner school overseas.

Originally created for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in 2016, this resource pack was developed by the British Council in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, UCL Institute of Education and Big Ideas Company.

William Smurthwaite Remembered

William Smurthwaite was a young soldier in the 18th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry who was born on 9 June 1894 and lost his life on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The documents in this pack provide some details about his short life. Divide your pupils into small groups and give them copies of the documents. Ask them to work together to sequence the resources, note down any questions that they have, and interrogate the materials to find out what they can about William’s short life.