STAND by your beds lads, because the Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour is about to arrive in Worcester.

Highlight of the evening on Saturday, June 17, in Worcester Cathedral will be a screening of the film The Battle of the Somme, which was the first feature length documentary about war and changed the way both cinema and film was perceived by the public.

Shot and first screened in 1916, it showed to the folks back home the heroics of the British “Tommies” and the horrors they faced amid the mud, trenches, bombs and bullets fighting for King and country on foreign soil. The film was made by British official cinematographers Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell and In the year of its release around 20 million people, almost half the population of Britain at the time, watched it, many hoping to see the image of a loved-one or friend.

The screening will be accompanied by composer Laura Rossi’s live soundtrack performed by the British Police Symphony Orchestra.

The event in Worcester is one of the last dates on The Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour and Ms Rossi and Dr Toby Haggith, senior curator at The Imperial War Museum, will give pre-performance talks about the battle and the musical score.

Adrian Gregson, Worcestershire World War One Hundred project manager, said: “The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in human history, lasting 141 days with more than one million men wounded or killed. The Worcestershire Regiment played its part and lost more than 1,000 men with a further 362 Worcestershire men killed from a range of other regiments and units.

“The Battle of the Somme film was hugely significant for those at home at the time of its release and has proved no less significant 100 years later. The event at Worcester Cathedral will be an exceptional moment as part of our county-wide commemorative programme as we remember those who gave their lives at the Battle of the Somme.”

Paul West, former Chief Constable of West Mercia Police and a member of the British Police Symphony Orchestra, added: “To be part of such an incredible commemorative project as The Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour is a huge honour for the British Police Symphony Orchestra. Our first rehearsal was particularly poignant, watching the film and beginning our work to learn the score. It will be a privilege to play our part in remembering the sacrifice of those who gave their lives during not only the Battle of the Somme but the whole of World War One.”

Laura Rossi said: “I have watched the film so many times that when I sleep at night I sometimes see the soldiers’ faces. Watching this film brings you closer to the reality of the First World War, and I have come to feel very passionately that I want others to know more about it.”

Tickets cost £20 & £15 and are available from Worcester Live (01905 611427) with all proceeds going to The Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity.

The evening begins at 7.30pm.