Thanks to Surrey Infantry Museum
The ‘battle’ of the Somme consisted of 13 separate battles over a period of 20 weeks. Battalions from the Surrey Regiments fought in 11 of these engagements. It is well documented that British casualties after the first day’s battle stand at 57,000. The Surrey Battalions supplied 15,000 men to the British Army during the entire Somme campaign; 9,000 estimated to have been killed, missing in action or wounded, and 2975 were confirmed as killed in action.
Surrey’s newspapers between July-November 1916 were filled with rolls of honour, listing Surrey men killed on the Somme battlefields. The images below show a few examples.
The Battle of the Somme film, screened in cinemas across the country in 1916, was the first time the general public had been shown film footage of war. The government did not produce it, but they did approve it. It was very controversial because audiences were shown sometimes graphic footage of the realities of war; many felt it showed too much. However, it seems that the majority appreciated being able to see what life was like for their men fighting abroad. Contemporary Surrey newspapers feature advertisements for Battle of the Somme screenings, and often the follow up reaction. The example below shows how the Surrey Mirror reported on a screening in Reigate:
Read about individual Surrey men who fought at the Somme here:
8th Surrey’s at Montauban (thebignote.com provides thorough and insightful research into the movements of the British Amy in Flanders)