Northern Ireland

The Battle of the Somme: BBC NI marks centenary with special coverage

British troops climbing from their trench on the first day of the Somme Image copyright Morgan-Wells/Getty Images
Image caption British troops climbing from their trench on the first day of the Somme

With the centenary of the Battle of the Somme just over a week away, BBC News NI will be bringing you extensive coverage of an event which shaped British, Irish, European and world history.

Our news website will publish a series of special reports at bbc.co.uk/irelandandthesomme.

We'll look at the effects of the battle on Ireland, recounting some of the stories of those who fought and the experiences of their loved ones waiting for news from the front.

You can read how the Somme united a divided Ireland, what the ramifications were for Unionism, and why the first day was such a disaster.

Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Most of the British troops at the Battle of the Somme had not seen much action and were in good spirits as they were moved to the front line

As well as reflecting the commemorations both at home and at Thievpal in France, BBC News NI will also have a special live page detailing the first day of the battle as it happened 100 years ago on 1 July from 06:00 BST.

The events at the Somme will also be covered across Snapchat and Twitter on Thursday and Friday of next week.

Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Troops prepare for the charge over the top on 1 July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme

BBC NI's Tara Mills and Seamus McKee will present a BBC Newsline special, live from Thiepval, on 1 July.

It will cover a commemorative service at the Ulster Tower and other events at Thievpal throughout the day.

Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Soldiers advance towards Thiepval at the Battle of the Somme

Good Morning Ulster presenter Noel Thompson will broadcast live from Thiepval, while Elaine McGee will present from Helen's Tower in Bangor, County Down.

William Crawley will present a specially extended Talkback to cover the commemorative service at the Ulster Tower and Evening Extra will have an extensive round-up of the day's events.

Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption A British soldier looks out over the front line from a trench

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