The Royal British Legion’s Swindon Pop-in Centre is playing host to a display about the Battle of the Somme featuring an array of artefacts from the conflict.
The display ties in with the 100th anniversary of the battle and will remain on show to the public until 18 November – the centenary of the battle’s end.
As well as the rare artefacts loaned to the Legion by local historian Mark Sutton, the display will also feature information about some of the men from Swindon who lost their lives during the horrendous battle.
Photos and memorial plaques of some of Swindon’s young men who tragically died during the Battle will be on display as well as an Army Issue Bible – complete with a bullet hole partly through the book from a German sharpshooter.
The bullet does not penetrate all the way through the Bible, so it presumably saved the life of the soldier who was carrying it at that time.
The Battle of the Somme began at 7.30am on 1 July 1916 and lasted until 18 November 1916. By the end of the first day more than 19,240 British soldiers had been killed, and nearly twice that number wounded. The total of 57,470 casualties was and remains the highest suffered by the British Army in a single day.
The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the First World War fought by the British and French against Germany. It took place on both sides of the River Somme in France and is remembered as one of the most tragic episodes in human history.
The Pop-in Centre is open Monday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm, apart from lunchtimes during July and August, when we will be closing between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
For further information email Isobel Thompson, Advice and Information Officer at the Swindon Pop-in Centre at IThompson@britishlegion.org.uk