THE PEOPLE AND ORGANISATIONS INVOLVED WITH THE CENTENARY IN THE SOMME
The Somme was profoundly scarred by the First World War, especially with the number of deaths incurred in the department – over one million. From July to November 1916 alone, losses amounted to more than 1.2 million in the Somme. Directly linked to the history of the conflict, the Somme Department, through the many people and organisations directly involved, is fully invested in the preparation of the centenary of the Great War.
They come from diverse backgrounds: from the individual with a passion for his subject to a local association; or a mayor invested in the heritage of his or her village to the departmental authorities and the State. All have found their place within this context and are ready to inform and accompany you with your projects to commemorate the centenary of the Great War in our department.
The Conseil General and the State at the forefront
The centenary of the Great War is following federating objectives which concern us all and, through the Centenary Departmental Committee, calls for the mobilisation of every one of us. It was created in 2012 and is co-chaired by M. le Préfet of Picardy and M. le Président of the Conseil Général de la Somme. The committee identifies local projects and submits them to the National Centenary GIP (Groupement d’Intérêt Public – Public Interest Group) to obtain a national certificate.
The Conseil Général leads numerous initiatives, which include the project to list the landscapes and sites of remembrance of the Great War as World Heritage of Humanity sites; a hiking trail combining nature and history; a landscaped and artistic creation close to the Historial, which will represent the five continents involved in the war; and an educational booklet for students in the French 3rd year about the history of the Great War in the Somme…
For more information: www.somme.fr
The Historial, Museum of the Great War, a museum of exception, a project renewed.
The internationally recognised museum, the Historial of the Great War, in Péronne, (www.historial.org) naturally finds its place within the organisation of the centenary by carrying out a project, with local and international dimensions, to renovate the museum. This project, full of structural highlights, includes the development of a digital remembrance trail, a progressive renovation of each of the five permanent exhibition rooms, a modern outlook to contemporary questions and major temporary exhibitions…
For more information: www.historial.org
The Departmental Archives, preserving the memory of the Great War.
Collecting and conserving documents relating to the history of the department - these are the missions entrusted to the Departmental Archives of the Somme (www.archives.somme.fr). For the centenary, they have become associated with several projects: a guide to the archives of the Great War, the digitalisation of regimental service numbers of young men born between 1865 and 1901, as well as organising a virtual exhibition and leading a campaign to collect personal archive material relating to the Great War.
For more information: www.archives.somme.fr
Somme Tourisme at the heart of the centenary
Beyond the mobilisation of local bodies, the success of the centenary will involve in part what is known as “Remembrance Tourism”. For many years, Somme Tourisme (www.somme-tourisme.fr) has been organising and highlighting this sector by uniting the different people and organisations concerned through the Somme Battlefields’ Partners and by assuring the promotion of the battlefields of the Somme with a selection of brochures and four websites themed on the subject. Somme Tourisme has been an integral part of the European programmes since 2008 and carries out communal, across the border actions with its partners.
For more information: www.somme-tourisme.fr
Other local organisations involved
In addition, many structures receive, inform and accompany visitors at a local level:
- All of the tourist offices, but in particular the offices at Poppy Country, Péronne, Mondidier, Doullens, Corbie, Amiens
- The museums themed by the history of the Great War: Albert’s Somme 1916 Museum and the Franco-Australian Museum in Villers-Bretonneux…
The town halls and historical and remembrance associations organise exhibitions and receive visitors