The Somme 1916 Museum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Somme 1916 Museum

Albert, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Somme 1916 Museum

The Somme 1916 Museum is part of the Circuit of Remembrance, a tour of the Picardie region of France dedicated to the Battle of the Somme.

The Somme 1916 Museum history

The Battle of the Somme is remembered as one of the bloodiest events of the First World War. Made up primarily of a volunteer army, the Battle of the Somme was the largest military offensive that the British Army had launched in 1916. The amount of casualties on the first day alone is astounding – numbering over 57,000, of which 19,240 were killed, making it the bloodiest day in British military history. There were over a million casualties once the battle was through.

The Somme, like Verdun for the French, has a prominent place in British history and popular memory and has come to represent the loss and apparent futility of the war. But the Allied offensive on the Somme was a strategic necessity fought to meet the needs of an international alliance. British commanders learned difficult but important lessons on the Somme that would contribute to eventual Allied victory in 1918

The Somme 1916 Museum today

Based in a former crypt in the town of Albert which later acted as a Second World War underground shelter, The Somme 1916 Museum displays a series of exhibits relating to the Battle of the Somme, including original weaponry, uniforms and equipment as well as looking at the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches.

The Somme 1916 Museum uses a variety of methods to try and recreate soldiers’ lives, immersing visitors in the experience with imagery, sound effects and lighting. In tunnels 10 metres underground and 250 metres long the museum reconstructs realistic scenes from the lives of soldiers on the Somme battlefields. Guided tours are available in English, French and German as are films in the museum’s projection room.

There are free individual tours which take roughly an hour.

Getting to The Somme 1916 Museum

The address of The Somme 1916 Museum is Rue Anicet Godin, 80300 ALBERT, France. The town of Albert is roughly 30 kilometres outside of Amiens (roughly a 30 minute drive). If travelling from here, simply take the D929 northbound to Albert.

If travelling from Calais, take the A26 southbound past Bethune and Lens before turning off onto the A1 outside of Arras towards Paris. Once you reach Bapaume, take exit 14 onto the D929 until you reach Albert.

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