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Full report: The Somme anniversary, 97 years on

On this day, in 1916, thousands of soldiers fell during the first day of The Somme, one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

Ninety seven years on - and people have been remembering those who died. Also today, two historians from the South began a unique project to learn more about the battlefields. Watch Derek Johnson's report.


The South's historians mark Somme anniversary

Historians from the South are in France to unveil plans to map a 12 kilometre section of the Somme battlefield.

The Battle of The Somme led to more than 400,000 British casualties Credit: ITV Meridian

Today marks 97 years since the four-month offensive began in 1916.

It claimed more than 400,000 British casualties but only moved the line forward by a few miles.

Andy Robertshaw from Surrey and Steve Robertson from Kent are launching Project Beaumont-Hamel which plans to build up a comprehensive web database about one section of the battlefield.

It will draw on written sources but also involve archaeological digs.

The day before The Somme, more than 350 Sussex soldiers were killed in a diversionary attack meant to fool the enemy over the date of the real offensive.

The Battle of Boars Head also became known as The Day Sussex Died.