Rotherham looks back 100 years to Somme battle

A hot afternoon in the trenches for the Great War Society
A hot afternoon in the trenches for the Great War Society
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Families can find out more about the First World War at a free activities day at Clifton Park and Museum, Rotherham

Re-enactors from the Great War Society will be at the event, having recently returned from visiting the Somme.

There will be historic talks , mock training activities, tabletop battle games and children’s crafts.

Other activities on the day will include traditional sports, living history displays, rug pegging, dressing up and cooking traditional recipes in the museum’s period kitchen.

There will also be music from the Band of the King’s Division, displays and a range of stalls.

The Great War Society was founded in 1984 to provide an opportunity for practical research into the uniforms, weaponry, equipment, training and everyday tasks of the Great War soldier from both sides of the conflict.

Members dress in period uniforms and equipment, learn the drills and undertake the training and everyday activities of the time.

Rather than re-enacting battles, their activities are focused upon authentic demonstrations of the many and various skills which a soldier would have had to acquire to enable him to do his job in the field.

They aim to help current generations to view the conflict of 1914 – 1918 as more than just a dusty history lesson.

Coun Taiba Yasseen, Rothertham Council cabinet member for neighbourhood working and cultural services, said: “The Somme was a devastating battle but one that proved crucial in the outcome of the First World War.

“The York and Lancaster Regiment was heavily involved in the battle, and these centenary events let us all remember and reflect on the price they paid to protect our freedom.

“The museum has a wealth of knowledge and materials about this part of history, and I hope this event will be packed out with people from Rotherham and beyond looking to learn more.”

March Back in Time – Training for the Somme’ takes place on Sunday, July 31, 11am to 4pm.

The museum’s York and Lancaster Regimental galleries host an exhibition about Captain Simpson MC and the Somme. There will also be an exhibition of Somme-related material on display in the Archives and Local Studies search room.

There are also free screenings of the iconic 1916 documentary film Battle of the Somme next Monday (July 25) and Wednesday, 1pm both days.

Contact the museum on 01709 336633 for more information and to book your place.