Today marks the centenary of the battle of the Somme, one of the largest clashes of the First World War. The 60,000 casualties suffered by the British on the first day alone ensured that it is an event that will never be forgotten, and the battlefield has become hallowed ground for visitors who come to pay their respects to those who lost their lives.

At the start of this year we were approached by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, an organization that maintains the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth soldiers who died during the two World Wars. They were eager to put together a battlefield companion for the Somme, a project that instantly caught our attention as the perfect way to commemorate the centenary of the battle.

Working together with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission we set about creating a guide book that will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone travelling to the Somme in this centenary year, and indeed for years to come.

The battlefield companion explores 30 locations on the Somme, offering suggested driving routes, sites to visit and some of the lesser-known stories surrounding the battle.

'In this special centenary year of the Battle of The Somme we are delighted to be working with Osprey, who already have a rich selection of military based titles. The Somme Companion that we have produced together will be a key and enjoyable resource to use to explore not only the numerous CWGC cemeteries, memorials and their surroundings but also the personal stories of this infamous battle.'

Peter Francis, CWGC, Media and Marketing Manager

'This has been a fascinating project to work on. Through meticulous research, the very personal stories of those involved in this horrific battle have been linked not only to the fighting, but also to their final resting places giving a very moving, human dimension to the rows upon rows of graves that can be seen across the Somme landscape. It has been a privilege to work with the CWGC and to see first hand the passion they put into the work that they do.'

Anita Baker, Editor.

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