We are honouring the sacrifices of Durham's men and women in the First World War with a variety of events, exhibitions and experiences throughout the year.


DURHAM CATHEDRAL is hosting three wooden crosses from the Somme battlefields in front of the DLI Chapel. Known as the Butte Crosses, this is only the second time since they they left France that they have been seen together. The crosses were erected on the Butte de Warlencourt, which is an ancient burial mound in the midst of the Somme battlefields, in memory of the soldiers of the 6th, 8th and 9th Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry. All three crosses will now stand in front of the DLI Chapel from tomorrow until Sunday, November 20. The cathedral is also holding a series of special services, see durhamcathedral.co.uk/first-world-war for full details.

The Northern Echo:

AT Palace Green Library, the first in a series of exhibitions from Durham County Council, Durham University, and the Trustees of the DLI Collection is currently running. Somme 1916: From Durham to the Western Front, is a six-month exhibition exploring the reality of the Battle of the Somme through the eyes of the North East people who were there.

Tickets can be purchased from Palace Green Library. For more information, email pg.library@durham.ac.uk or 0191 334 2932. Runs until Sunday, October 2.

The Northern Echo:

ON Saturday, July 16, Durham Cathedral will welcome the world premiere of The Durham Hymns. Written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, with music by leading contemporary composers Orlando Gough, Jessica Curry and Jonathan Bates, the hymns have been inspired by the events and personal experiences of the First World War. Following the premiere, the hymns will go on to tour the county.

Tickets priced from £13 to £20 are available for the performance at the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or at galadurham.co.uk

The Northern Echo:

AT the Gala Theatre, the auditorium will be transformed for the first time into a walk-through experience, the likes of which has never been seen before in the North East of England. 1916: No Turning Back transports visitors to the battlefields of the Somme through the use of special effects and projection while actors take visitors on a journey in the shoes of a County Durham soldier from “signing-up”, to going “over the top”. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Somme in this truly remarkable, walk-through experience, running from Thursday July 21, to Sunday, August 28.

Tickets priced £6.50 to £7.50, or group bookings of ten or more at £5 a ticket, and family tickets at £22, are available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or at galadurham.co.uk

The Northern Echo:

FROM Thursday, September 8, to Saturday, September 17, The Fighting Bradfords premieres at the Gala Theatre. Drawing on first-hand accounts, correspondence and family anecdotes, this powerful, emotive production is one not to be missed and tells the story of the most celebrated brothers in British military service. Written by Carina Rodney and directed by Psyche Stott, the play explores what drove the Bradford brothers from County Durham to become national, as well as local, heroes. The Fighting Bradfords’ ten-day run includes matinee performances on Wednesday, September 14, and Saturday, September 17, and a “Pay What You Like” performance on Monday, September 12.

Tickets are priced from £12 to £15, and are available at the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or at galadurham.co.uk

The Northern Echo:

ON Friday, November 4, the Gala Theatre will screen The Battle of the Somme, a film of the actual battle that was first aired in 1916 and was seen by more than half of the British population. Restored by the Imperial War Museum and with new music by composer Laura Rossi, it will be shown with accompaniment from young people from the Durham Music Service and musicians from Durham University Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets priced £7 to £10 are available at the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or at galadurham.co.uk