Special screening: The Battle of the Somme

This year marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The British High Commission, in partnership with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington City Council, Ticketek New Zealand present a special screening of the internationally acclaimed film “The Battle of the Somme”. The digitally restored silent film will be accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, playing a specially commissioned orchestral score by the British composer Laura Rossi.

There will be two screenings on Saturday 24 September – 3pm and 7pm at the Michael Fowler Centre. The performance lasts approximately 1hour and 15 minutes. To book your FREE tickets (max 6) please call 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or call in to the box office at the Michael Fowler Centre. There are no additional booking fees. Please note the film is rated PG and contains war footage.

About the Battle of the Somme film

The Somme campaign lasted from 1 July 1916 – 18 November 1916, during which time the Allied forces – including thousands of New Zealanders – suffered half a million casualties with a further half a million casualties on the German side.The Battle of the Somme was the first battle to be extensively recorded in moving images and the first to feature vast numbers of ordinary citizen-soldiers. At the time of release it was seen by over 20 million people in Britain.

William Keith Berry attested for service in October 1915. He embarked from Wellington on 5 February 1916 as a member of ‘B’ Company, 3rd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade. On active service in France, he fought in the Battle of the Somme. Berry & Co, 1915. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds

These momentous audience numbers make The Battle of the Somme one of the most popular films in British Cinema history and marked a turning point in film making, being the first feature length documentary about a war and changing the way in which cinema and film were perceived by society. The film is listed on UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World’ register.

One Response

  1. adele

    I had a Gt Uncle who was shot and expected to survive in this Battle, but he was with the Canadian Infantry, died in London, and buried in Kent, his home town, but, but, he has two plots, two different cemeteries in Gillingham. Kent, his body in one cemetery which is now used as a sports field and the other plot in another cemetery.. I had hoped to visit his grave in 2014 when I was home in London, but due to Vertigo that put pay to all my plans to tour around to see historic sites and his grave. William Ridley RIP. Willie. only found his grandson a few years back in Canada..

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