With Heart and Hand: Battle of The Somme

With Heart and Hand: Battle of The Somme

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Anglo-French Cemetery, France, Hauts-de-France, Thiepval, Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Ulster Tower




Production 01/07/1966


17min 28sec





black and white


Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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It is the 1st of July 1966 in Thiepval, France Charlie Witherspoon reports from the commemoration service of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Standing in front of the Ulster Tower, an exact replica of the 19th century Helen’s Tower in Bangor, Witherspoon joins a crowd of ex-servicemen, clergymen, political representatives and other guests to pay tribute to all those who served in the First World War and fought one of the bloodiest battles in history. Some of the dignitaries present at the service include Terence O’Neill and Basil Brooke, 1st Viscount Brookeborough.

In the trenches, Charles Witherspoon talks to men returning to the area after half a century as they relive their memories and think of the lives lost. Others remember events just before the battle commenced and heroic sacrifice by fellow soldier to save the lives of others.
In this emotional revisiting of the past, the returning veterans think back to not only the bitter memories of war but also those of camaraderie and dedication.

The footage also includes views of the surrounding landscape, the Anglo-French Cemetery, Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and a close up of the Ulster Memorial Tower plaque dedicated to the 36th Ulster Division and to other men of Ulster who served in the war.


Presented by Charles Witherspoon

An Uster Television Production 


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