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Dead German soldiers lie in their trenches which were demolished during the Battle of the Somme, France in July 1916. (Photo:Reuters)

In Pictures: WWI’s Battle of The Somme, A 100 Years On

The Battle of Somme Cenetary: “At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning, we shall remember them.” 

3 min read

1 July 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Battle of the Somme – one of the bloodiest battles in history which claimed over 1.2 million casualties, and became infamous for its deep trench warfare and artillery bombing of enemy lines.

On the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Quint Lens curates rare archival pictures of the battle, and juxtaposes them with pictures taken of the preserved battlefield today. Before the battle, the river Somme was a placid stream winding northwards to meet the English Channel.

Then, came the blight and the death of idealism on those fields, changing the idea of an idyllic Somme in the minds of people everywhere. And since then, the Somme has never been the same again.

July 1916: The Battle of Somme Begins

A Viscount in the Armoured Cavalry Branch of the French Army left behind a collection of hundreds of glass plates taken during World War One (WWI) that have never before been published. This images, by an unknown photographer, show the daily life of soldiers in the trenches, destruction of towns and military leaders.

July 2016: 100 Years Later

War researchers say the engravings in the chalky rocks of Bouzincourt, which range from inscriptions of a soldier’s name to crudely sculpted flags and hearts, offer a powerful insight into the thoughts of those caught up in the Somme Offensive, one of the bloodiest battles of the 20th century.

Every year farmers unearth several tonnes of shells, shrapnel, gas shells, unexploded grenades, called “engins de mort” (weapons of death), that bomb-disposal experts remove and destroy. Estimates say it will take up to 500 years to clean the “iron harvest” of Somme.

(All photos and caption text has been taken from agencies.)

Quint Lens is a selection of the most vivid imagery created by our in-house pool of talent, and from across the web, created and curated with an eye on for that Quintessential twist. In this section, you can find some of the most refreshing camera and mobile photography documenting current news events, the history and everyday culture of India and the world, heartbreaking stories that can only be conveyed through pictures, celebrations and revolutions; basically, anything that simply needs to be CliQed!

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