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TDCS Commemorates Centenary of the Battle of the Somme - 23rd June 2016


The Tamworth and District Civic Society’s commemoration of the centenary of the terrible Battle of the Somme attracted 57 people to fill the seats in the magnificent St. George’s Chapel inside Tamworth Parish Church.  Civic Society Chairman Dr. David Biggs said “It proved to be a fitting tribute to all those, especially in Tamworth and District, who served in the worst recorded conflict of British military history.  We must never forget the horrors and lessons of the Great War.”  

A screening of the poignant 1916 documentary film of the battle was largely watched in silence as the moving scenes unfolded.  Among the audience were special guests Raymond Darkes of Dosthill and his son Paul.  Raymond (85) believes that his father Frederick is shown carrying a wounded compatriot in the film.  Another honoured guest at the special event was the Mayor of Tamworth, Councillor Ken Norchi, who was accompanied by Councillor Peter Seekings as the Mayoress could not attend.

After the screening, we had lovely refreshments provided by the Church in the Comberford Chapel.  Then Dr. Geoffrey Noon, an Honorary Research Fellow in War Studies at the University of Birmingham and a founder member of the Western Front Association, delivered a learned address on the events before, during and after the bloody conflict, and gave his views on causes and outcomes.

At the end, the 85 year old retired Tamworth G.P., was presented with a bottle of single malt whisky by David Biggs, on behalf of fellow members, in thanks for all that he  had done as a member of the Steering Committee that so successfully re-launched the town’s civic society in 2015-16, and for his work both on the Somme event and on the society‘s forthcoming trip to Statfold Barn Farm Steam Railway on 16th July.











RELEASE: 29th June 2016

(L-R) Guest Speaker, Dr. Geoffrey Noon; Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr. Ken Norchi; special guests Raymond and Paul Darkes; TDCS Chairman, Dr. David Biggs.

The large audience watch the fascinating film footage from 1916.

Dr. Noon takes questions at the end of the screening. 

The audience listen intently to Dr. Noon's informative address.

(Photos by S Biggs)