As part of Berkhamsted School’s 475th anniversary celebrations, and in partnership with the Somme100 Film project, there will be an orchestral screening of The Battle of the Somme on the evening of Friday July 1st. This is part of The Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour which aims to commemorate the centenary of one of the most defining events of the First World War. 

The anniversary of the start of the Battle on 1st July also gives Berkhamsted School the opportunity to reflect on the loss of four Old Berkhamstedians on that day, Lt. Campbell R.A.R (23), Lt. Cloudsley H. (32), Lt. Middlemitch A.M. (18), Capt. Sweetnam R.R.S (24). A further 40 are thought to have died during the conflict that lasted nearly five months at the cost of over one million men wounded or killed. .The central part of the evening will involve the Berkhamsted School Orchestra, as part of 100 live orchestral screenings of the film across the country, performing a modern score in accompaniment to the Imperial War Museums’ 1916 film The Battle of the Somme by Geoffrey Malins and J B McDowell. The film has been remastered and will be performed with music specially composed by Laura Rossi for this event.

The evening will begin at 6pm with a brief documentary on Berkhamsted School and the Battle of the Somme, followed by a talk on the film by David Walsh, Head of Digital Collections at the Imperial War Museums. There will be an interval for refreshments at around 6.45pm, with the screening starting at around 7.15pm. The film is 74 minutes in duration, so should be finished at 8.30pm.

All interested members of the School and local community are very welcome to attend this event. While tickets and refreshments are complimentary, to enable us to manage numbers, we ask that parents and the general public order tickets online via the Berkhamsted Bookings website – www.berkhamstedbookings.co.uk/events

About the Film

Smiling awkwardly at the new-fangled cameras, troops move towards the Front in the Great War. Their actions are far removed from the swagger and march of war films, but then this is real. The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated that over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals, Britain’s commitment to the First World War. It is estimated that over half the population of the UK watched The Battle of the Somme (a figure not matched until the release of Star Wars in 1977).