In 2015, DCMS approached the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust to provide two of our aircraft for the Centenary Commemorations of the Battle of the Somme. In keeping with the spirit of reconciliation, we offered the the BE2 and the Albatros which were later joined by the Bristol Scout that Team Bremner have built in honour of David Bremner’s grandfather. The WW1 AHT aeroplanes started from their base at Stow Maries and made their way across independently as they fly at different speeds. The Scout was trailered across the Channel. As a formal part of the Government’s commemorations, we asked the Royal AIr Force to provide an escort of Tutor aircraft for the flights which were duly provided by Oxford UAS
There were 57000 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme including 20000 dead. This session (5/12) will provide the historical context of the Battle on the ground questioning whether the conventional wisdom of the Battle being one of Lions led by Donkeys is correct. We will also look as we have previously at the air situation and where the battle for control of the air had reached by mid-1916. The pilots will then talk about their individual adventures in getting to N France and their own reasons for going to the Somme. We were joined by Gary Moore, the sound recordist of Springwatch and Today fame, who was on his way to record the birdsong at dawn on the 1 July 2016 – a sound that was so poignant to the combatants on both sides.