The start of the Somme bombardment as seen from a roadside gun battery, 24 June 1916. The bombardment lasted a week and was intended to obliterate German defences and defenders. The artist, William Topham, depicts high explosive shells and white shrapnel bursts over the enemy lines, and provides a detailed description of his location. At this stage in the bombardment, the terrain, consisting mostly of farmers' fields, remains relatively unscathed.
Painted by William Thurston Topham
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art