Iconic film to be shown at Museum

Bassetlaw Museum is taking part in a national initiative, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, by screening the historic and iconic film, The Battle of the Somme.


The film was the first ever feature length documentary which depicted war and more than 20 million people flocked to see the film when it was released in the autumn of 1916 in the hope of spotting loved ones during one of the bloodiest episodes of the First World War. 

The Battle of the Somme was shot by two cameramen; Geoffrey Malins and J. B. McDowell between 25th June and 9th July 1916, and covered the build-up and opening days of the battle.

The film, primarily used as a piece of war propaganda, changed the way that both cinema and film was perceived by the public.

And a century later this unique film from the Imperial War Museums’ collection is again being shown up and down the country with a special soundtrack composed by Laura Rossi, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Museum Curator, Samantha Glasswell said: “Bassetlaw Museum is extremely proud to be one of the venues taking advantage of the opportunity to show the film, which is a fascinating on so many levels.

“Many people who watched it in 1916 would be hoping to catch a glimpse of a loved one.  It tells us a great deal about the First World War and the development of film making but it is also a staggering piece of propaganda.”

Free screenings will take place on Saturday 15th October at 1.30pm, Saturday 12th November at 10.30am and Saturday 12th November 1.30pm. Each showing lasts just less than two hours and booking is essential due to limited numbers.

No prior knowledge of the First World War or the Battle of the Somme is needed to appreciate the film as a short introduction by Dr Toby Haggith of the Imperial War Museum accompanies the film.

To book, please call the museum on 01777 713 749, email Bassetlaw.museum@bassetlaw.gov.uk or call into Bassetlaw Museum, Amcott House, 40 Grove Street, Retford. 

There will also be an opportunity to see the film on the evening of November 3rd at Retford Library.  Please contact the library for details.

Published: Thursday 13 October 2016