Rare images of the Battle of the Somme have been released to mark the 100th anniversary of the famous battle on 1 July.
Men of the 8th Battalion Border Regiment resting in shallow dugouts in a captured German trench near Thiepval Wood, in a photograph taken around 3 July 1916 © IWM
Wounded men of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers being tended in a trench in the 29th Division’s area near Beaumont Hamel on the morning of the initial assault © IWM
RAMC troops carrying wounded soldiers on to a hospital barge at Vaux-sur-Somme on 25 August 1916 © IWM
Wounded British soldiers at a dressing station set up in the churchyard at Morlancourt, a village well behind the British lines located south of Albert © IWM
Soldiers of A Company, 11th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, occupy a captured German trench at Ovillers-la-Boisselle on the Somme © IWM
The images are published in a new book called The Somme: A Visual History, by Anthony Richards who is head of Documents and Sound at the Imperial War Museums.
As the book’s publisher, the Imperial War Museums said: ‘Rarely seen photographs captured by the official war photographers at the front, vivid wartime posters and artworks showing the horrors and sheer scale of the battle are woven throughout the narrative of the book, illustrating it with the faces and images of the time.’
The book also relays the first-hand experiences of those who took part in the battle, plucked from private diaries, personal letters and interviews.
A Canadian gunner writes messages with chalk on 15-inch howitzer shells, September 1916 © IWM
A horse-drawn limber takes ammunition to the forward guns along the Lesboeufs Road, outside Flers, in November 1916 during the final stages of the Somme offensive © IWM
Taylor Downing, a historian, said: ‘This is a unique account of Britain’s most famous battle. The book is full of the most brilliant images, including many little known photos but also much artwork, engravings and posters of the time.’
A typical congested road at Fricourt in October 1916 © IWM
The Somme: A Visual History is published by Imperial War Museums, priced £14.99, www.iwmshop.org.uk