Hundreds of soldiers wrote to families on eve of battle that saw 57,000 British casualties on first day
When The Battle of the Somme was released as a feature film in August 1916, audiences were stunned by the feeling that they had witnessed the battle for themselves.
When the modern Middle East was carved up in the secret cabals of imperial statesmen a century ago, T E Lawrence suffered a slow-motion mental collapse.
The 1916 Military Service Act conscripted all single men between 18 and 41 – apart from the clergy, teachers, and those involved with essential industry. And conscientious objectors.
Extracts from soldiers' journals, diaries and letters that record the horrors of the bloodiest battle in British history, the 1916 Battle of the Somme.
Muhammad Ali was a conscientious objector in a long line of those who said no to war - from WW1 until today: “Wars of nations are fought to change maps. Wars of poverty are fought to map change”
There's no record that 16-year-old Jack Cornwell did anything brave, but a hero was needed for war propaganda to deflect criticism.
The British army's response to the crisis of shell shock on the Somme lingers today in the stigma that prevents many soldiers from seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder.