Overview | The Battle of The Somme
The Battle of the Somme, also known as 'The Somme Offensive' took place on both sides of the River Somme, in the region of Picardy, France, between 1 July and 18 November 1916.
The first day of The Somme was the worst day in the history of the British army, with no less than 57,470 casualties. By November 18 - the last day of The Somme, over one million men had been wounded or killed.
Key points leading up to The Battle of The Somme are as follows:
December 1915: a Franco-British commitment to an offensive on the Somme was made during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, France.
1916: the Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers (which included Germany and the Austro-Hungrian Empire), by the French, Russian, British and Italian armies, with The Somme Offensive as the Franco-British contribution.
The Somme Offensive: the Somme Offensive comprised the French Army, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army commanded by General Sir Henry Rawlinson, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).
The British Army on the Somme comprised the remains of the pre-war regular Army, the Territorial Force plus the Kitchener- or 'New Army' (an all-volunteer army namely comprising individuals recruited from the same geographic areas and occupations).
Minister of War Field Marshal Earl Kitchener of Khartoum was enlisted as Minister of War on 5 August 1914. Kitchener's decision to raise - and implement a 'New Army' proved to be vital to winning the war.
How To Collect Somme Medals | Paperwork & Ancillery Artefacts
Benchmark battle anniversaries generally see an increase in- and preference for- medals with paperwork and ancillary artefacts which reveal the man-behind-the-medal. The Battle of The Somme centenary is no exception.
Although paperwork and ancillary artefacts generally have little intrinsic value, in highlighting the recipients personality, story, and courage, they bring unique, added-value characteristics to any given medal, or medal group.
'Personality paperwork' and ancillery artefacts (for example maps and field-glasses), will continue to influence 'Somme Medal' buying decisions throughout the 2016 Centenary and beyond.
How To Collect Somme Medals | Medal Specifics
Medal collectors have always favoured 1st day of battle, casualty, killed-in-action [K.I.A], and medals and awards conferred for gallantry. These four themes are particularly relevant to both single Somme Medals and Somme Medal groups.
How To Collect Somme Medals | Regiments & Ranks
Editing in progress w/c March 28 2016