Bernafay Wood, Looking Towards Trônes Wood (Art.IWM ART 4484) image: a view across a desolate and battle-scarred Somme landscape. There are flooded shell holes in the foreground, and clouds of smoke rising from the land in the distance. There are the shattered tree trunks of Bernafay Wood jutting out from the ground, an indication of what used to be a woodland area. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

‘…and the morning broke…’

Today we continue with the blog written by volunteer Chris Prince containing the powerful words of soldier 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Callan McArdle who was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme.   The journal of Kenneth McArdle continued...   6 July 1916 'On the night of 30th June the 90th Brigade marched out … Continue reading ‘…and the morning broke…’

THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME, JULY-NOVEMBER 1916 (Q 55066) Aerial photograph of a British gas attack in progress between Carnoy and Montauban in June 1916, shortly before the Somme offensive. Montauban, then still in German hands, is at the top left of the picture and Carnoy, behind British lines, is at the bottom right. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

The Capture of Montauban

Volunteer Chris Prince came across the journal of Kenneth Callan McArdle whilst rooting around documents in the collections at Ashton Local Studies Centre.  The 2nd Lieutenant served with the 17th Manchester Regiment and wrote what Chris describes as ‘a very powerful peace of literature’.  We will be sharing two entries from the journal over a … Continue reading The Capture of Montauban


Bolton Welcomes Home Its Prisoners Of War

This blog post was written by Lois Dean, a volunteer at Bolton History Centre. Men from Bolton and the surrounding districts fought bravely during the First World War and throughout the conflict more than 900 of them were taken prisoner by the Germans. In October 1915, the local paper, the Bolton Evening News, set up … Continue reading Bolton Welcomes Home Its Prisoners Of War


World War One and the Halliwell Brass Band

This blog post was written by Margaret Koppens, a volunteer at Bolton History Centre. The first mention of the Jubilee Band (later to become the Halliwell Band) is an article in the Bolton Chronicle dated 9th February 1828.  Some time before 1870 the band changed its name to Halliwell Band and practised at St Paul’s … Continue reading World War One and the Halliwell Brass Band