Memoirs from those killed on the Somme have been released for Remembrance Sunday

Letters, photographs and memoirs donated by parents whose sons were killed on the Somme have been released to mark Remembrance Sunday.

The Imperial War Museums (IWM) revealed documents and pictures commemorating soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the bloodiest clash in the First World War.

Advertisements in newspapers from September 1917 until April 1920 asked people to contribute photographs and biographies of their loved ones who had died in the war, and hundreds responded. Here are some of the contributions to the collection.

Imperial War Museum
(Matt Dunham/AP)

Second Lieutenant Leonard Tregaskis and Lieutenant Arthur Tregaskis

Second Lieutenant Leonard Tregaskis and his brother Lieutenant Arthur Tregaskis
(Imperial War Museums/PA)

Cardiff-born Second Lieutenant Leonard Tregaskis and his brother Lieutenant Arthur Tregaskis were both killed in Mametz Wood on July 7 1916 and it is said they were within 50 metres of each other when one was wounded and the other rushed to his aid and was shot.

They died in each other's arms and their mother received one telegram in the morning informing her of one son's death, and later the same day, another telegram telling her the other son had died.

Their father sent the IWM a photograph of his sons and information including comments from Major Smith OC of the 16th Battalion Welsh Regiment, who said: "They were both among the noblest and bravest of our valiant officers. I always found them true hearted men. The whole Battalion regarded them with deep affection and real pride."

Second Lieutenant Frederick Bertram Key

 Frederick Bertram Key
(Imperial War Museums/PA)

A farewell letter from Second Lieutenant Frederick Bertram Key, from Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire, was donated by his father, along with a portrait taken when he was on leave in December 1915.

The letter written on the eve of the Somme, the day before he died, said that "if you receive this you will know that I have unfortunately been 'bowled out' middle peg, however you may be sure I battled well".

Frederick also wrote that "if some have to die and if I am one, well I can't grumble, I have had 26 years of a quiet, easy life, I certainly ought to have spent it better, but we all say that".

Lieutenant John Woodall Marshall

John Woodall Marshall
(Imperial War Museums/PA)

Another soldier who died on the Somme on July 1 1916 was Lieutenant John Woodall Marshall, who received the Military Cross for his service in the First World War.

In her letter to the IWM, his mother said that his lieutenant colonel had written: "I had the highest opinion of his bravery and capability and he will be a great loss to me and the battalion."

Private Archie Brammer

Private Archie Brammer
(Imperial War Museums/PA)

Private Archie Brammer was also killed on the first day of the battle and his father sent the IWM a photograph, a biography and a letter from friend and comrade Albert Gutrum, who said he did not know what had happened to Archie in the battle.

"Trusting you will find comfort in his brave sacrifice for his country and more so in his good life in the best of his religious principles," Albert wrote.

Read Full Story