Centenary of the end of the Battle of the Somme commemorated

The Somme painting by Andy Farr.
The Somme painting by Andy Farr.

The 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme will be marked at Clitheroe Castle with an exhibition of poignant artwork by young people and an interesting talk by a leading historian.

Lost Generation, created by artist Andy Farr, displays artwork and film created for the Lost Generation project, which gives young people in the Ribble Valley the chance to work creatively to help them to understand what it was like for people their age during the First World War.

The exhibition runs from today Friday November 11th until July 29th 2017.

Artist Andy Farr came up with the idea to make the 100th anniversary of the First World War more relevant to today’s young people and has already been working for more than three years with schools and colleges nationally.

The exhibition will be supported by a talk later this month marking the centenary of the day that the Battle of the Somme ended.

This talk, by military expert Dr Stephen Bull, will discuss the battle, and will showcase the important role played by North West regiments in the conflict.

It will take place at Clitheroe Castle Museum on Friday November 18th from 2-30 to 3-30 pm, and is free to attend. Booking is required as places are limited.

County Coun. Marcus Johnstone, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “I’m delighted that the exhibition, including work that the young people have created, will soon be available. I’m sure that it will be very interesting and well worth a visit. We’ve been working with Andy Farr for three years now producing the artwork for the exhibition which have been inspired by contemporary paintings and memorial sculptures.

“The exhibition is an important part of our centenary commemorations for World War One, and particularly the Battle of the Somme. It will be great to be able to see the time-lapse film of the 12 hour community vigil that was held to mark the centenary of the first day of the Somme.

“I’m pleased that the exhibition is being supported by a talk, which will give a lot of information about the horror of the Somme. The talk is taking place on the day that this devastating battle ended one hundred years ago. Hopefully as many people as possible will go along to it as it is a great opportunity to find out more.”

Ribble Valley Mayor Joyce Holgate, whose father, Thomas Henry Lawless, fought at the Somme with the 1st East Lancashire Regiment, said: “The Battle of the Somme had a profound impact on Lancashire people and the loss of life was devastating, with 1,000 young men from Ribble Valley alone losing their lives.

“The scale of the loss of life was unthinkable and the dance and drama piece produced by Bowland High School pupils for the Lost Generation exhibition is a moving and dynamic tribute to our brave Lancashire communities.”

Lancashire County Council’s and Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Somme centenary commemorations have also included a rare screening of The Battle of the Somme, a UNESCO-listed documentary and one of the most famous films ever made.

The centenary commemorations also included a day-long vigil on July 1st at Clitheroe Castle’s Unknown Soldier.

For more information or to book a place at the talk call 01200 424568 or email clitheroecastle@lancashire.gov.uk

Alternatively, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums

Limited disabled parking is available at the museum. Parking is also available on car parks in the town centre.

Information about Andy Farr is available at www.andyfarr.com

More information about the Lost Generation project is available at www.lostgeneration.info