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Battle of the Somme to be commemorated at Swansea Museum

One of the bloodiest battles in the history of the world will be commemorated at Swansea Museum.

Swansea pals

The 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme will be marked with a day of events at the Swansea Council attraction later this month.

Also known as the Somme offensive, the Battle of the Somme took place in the upper reaches of the River Somme in France between July 1 and November 18, 1916.

Fought by the armies of Britain and France against Germany, the conflict wounded or killed more than a million men.

Among those who fought were the Swansea Pals - officially known as the 14th (Service Battalion) the Welsh Regiment, part of the 38th Welsh Division. Almost 100 of them were killed and more than 300 were injured in the Battle of Mametz Wood in the summer of 1916, which formed part of the Somme offensive. By the end of the war in 1918, over 600 of the Swansea Pals had given their lives for King and country.

The Swansea Pals re-enactment group will be on hand at Swansea Museum on Friday August 19 from both 10.30am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 3.30pm with a guard of honour gate guard to commemorate 100 years since the battle.

Talks on the trenches and the equipment used at the Battle of Mametz Wood will take place from 11.30am to 12.30pm and 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: "Many Swansea people, including the Swansea Pals, gave their lives in World War One for generations to come to enjoy the freedom we sometimes take for granted nowadays, so it's vital we do all we can to recognise their sacrifices.

"Building on the fantastic, on-going Great War exhibition at Swansea Museum, this day of events will help commemorate our heroes and educate visitors about the horrors of war.

"It's part of a series of events and activities taking place in Swansea up until 2018 to mark a century since one of the bloodiest conflicts the world has ever known."

The on-going Great War exhibition in Swansea Museum's main gallery area focusses on the stories of the men who went to fight - many of whom were from Swansea.

The exhibition also explores the stories of conscientious objectors and reveals the struggles faced by women who were left behind.

Have a look at www.swanseamuseum.co.uk for more information or call 01792 653763.


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