Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2014-08-08

WWI: The Somme, Land of Remembrance

© France 24

Every year in France, more than 200,000 visitors walk across the battlefields of the Somme. They come from Great Britain, Canada or even from Australia and New Zealand with one goal: to lay flowers on the graves of hundreds of thousands of soldiers of the British Empire who fell here during World War One.

The Battle of the Somme is considered to be the bloodiest in the military history of the Commonwealth. For young states like Australia and New Zealand, it was their baptism of fire. In these countries, the Somme is part of their national identity.

All the countries that made up the British Empire in the 20th century have kept the date of July 1st, 1916 engraved in their collective memory. That day, the French and the British launched an offensive assault of unprecedented proportions on the German positions between Bapaume and Péronne. But from day one, their momentum broke under fire from enemy machine guns. 60,000 Commonwealth soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The massacre would continue until November 1916.

Nearly one hundred years later, France 24 headed to the memorials of the Somme, north of Paris. Every year, the commemorations of ANZAC Day and July 1st gather thousands of participants from around the world, mainly from Commonwealth countries.

Our reporters met the descendants of soldiers and other visitors gathered to honour the memory of the fallen.

By Florence GAILLARD

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-08-26 DR Congo

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

For more than a year and a half, a series of massacres - which have never been claimed - have been committed in the Beni region in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo....

Read more

2016-08-04 Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Kunduz, a city under Taliban threat

The northern Afghan city of Kunduz is being slowly rebuilt after it briefly fell to the Taliban last year, and a hospital was destroyed by US air strikes supporting Afghan ground...

Read more

2016-07-29 2016 Olympics

Video: Olympic refugee team goes for gold

Of all the athletes competing at the Olympics in Rio, there are ten in particular who stand out. They are all refugees who have fled war, terror and violence. Fleeing DR Congo,...

Read more

2016-07-08 history

Video: The trial of Chad's ex-dictator Habré, an inconvenient ally

In May, former Chadian president Hissène Habré, who ruled his country with an iron fist between 1982 and 1990, was sentenced to life in prison for "crimes against humanity,...

Read more

2016-07-01 agriculture

Video: FRANCE 24 speaks to French farmers in crisis

France is the EU's largest agricultural producer, but its farmers are faced with administrative constraints, falling sales prices and debt. Many are pushed into depression and...

Read more