Somme 1916: From Durham to The Western Front

Exhibition at Palace Green library

Somme 1916: From Durham to The Western Front

Provisional dates 27 March – 2 October 2016

Following on from the success of the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition (2013) and Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt (2015), Durham University, Durham County Council and the national First World War Centenary partnership (led by the Imperial War Museum) are planning a major exhibition to take place at Palace Green Library during the summer of 2016. The exhibition will commemorate the centenary of the battle of the Somme with particular emphasis on stories of soldiers and non-combatant personnel from County Durham, and the massive contribution made by the county on the home front to support the war effort. Durham University, the DLI Museum and Durham County Records Office are working closely together to make sure that the exhibition has a significant local focus, distinguishing it from other related exhibitions that are taking place across the country. Many of the stories that will be explored in the exhibition link directly to Durham County Record Office Durham at War project http://

The exhibition is planned as a major contribution to a wider programme of commemorative events, activities and outreach. County Durham and the Somme region have shared a twinning relationship for over thirty years and the exhibition team want to ensure that residents of the county and visitors to the region are able to participate in centenary commemorations and find out more about the contribution of their local area. Knowing how many important First World War projects have taken place across the County, the team are planning to organise a major community exhibition in Durham next summer for a weekend at the same time as the Palace Green Exhibition. This exhibition will give local history groups and organisations the opportunity to present their own exhibitions as a countywide collaboration – allowing visitors to learn even more about the men and women of the county, their contribution and sacrifice. Plans for this event are currently in their infancy, and a briefing will be held later on in the year so that everyone has the opportunity to get involved

For more information please contact Marleen Vincenten (Exhibition Project Officer)

For more details of Palace Green Library exhibitions, visit


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