28 Jun 2016

One hundred years on from The Battle of the Somme, The Royal Mint is to commemorate the anniversary with the creation of a £5 silver proof commemorative coin depicting poignant scenes from the terrible event.

Produced in collaboration with The Imperial War Museum, the coin has been designed by sculptor and coin designer John Bergdahl, and portrays infantrymen trudging through muddy terrain in no man’s land, as a tank rolls alongside them. It was this new piece of military technology – the tank - that helped to change the nature of the conflict, and was to mark the battle out as a turning point in the First World War.

Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin said: “The Royal Mint has marked occasions of national importance for over 1,000 years, and we have a long association with the military, having made medals for military campaigns since 1815.

The Battle of the Somme £5 coin marks a conflict that casts a long shadow on those communities who lost so many of their men, and is respectfully remembered in this centenary year.”

The Battle of the Somme coin has been released as part of The Royal Mint’s five-year programme of commemoration of the First World War that will tell the story of the emotive journey from outbreak to armistice. The battle took place in the summer of 1916 British and French forces attempted to break through the German lines, but the offensive would exact a terrible human cost.

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