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The Battle of The Somme Screening & Talks

  • Christ Church Christchurch Lane Lichfield, England, WS13 8AY United Kingdom (map)

Somme screening to be held in church bearing memorial to local man who died on the first day of the battle.

Private Frederick Key, a 27 year old soldier from Queen Street in Lichfield, was one of the first soldiers to die in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. A memorial in his name stands in Christ Church, Lichfield, where a screening of the 1916 documentary film, The Battle of The Somme will take place, along with short talks from Key’s great nephew Geoffrey Harbord and World War One scholar Elizabeth Monks.

The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight into the realities of trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It shows scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive including the massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle (the bloodiest single day in Britain’s military history) and depictions of the small gains and massive costs of the attack.

The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release in 1916, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals Britain’s commitment to the First World War. The film’s importance was recognised in 2005 by its formal inscription in the UNESCO ‘Memory Of The World’ register – the first British document of any kind to be included, and one of the few films that has so far been added to the register.

Laura Rossi’s new score was commissioned in 2006 to mark the 90th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme as a soundtrack for the digitally restored film.

Brought to you by Christ Church, Lichfield and Unseen Cinema.

FREE - No need to book.


Earlier Event: October 29
Nosferatu with live piano accompaniment
Later Event: December 17
Scrooge (1935) and Lea Hall Brass Band