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July 2, 2016 / basabbott

Diss Men at the Somme

Review

Battle of the Somme
St.Mary’s Hall, Diss

Diss Museum helped commemorate the Somme centenary with a presentation about the local men who were there.
Helen Kennett, who did the research into the missing war memorial names in 2014, recalled the Diss men who fought and died.
One was Alfred Steggles, who died of wounds on the last day of the battle. He is buried in Diss cemetery and the museum has his medals.
The film made in 1916 was also shown, with an improvised piano accompaniment by Carol Moss.
It was a propaganda film, giving no impression of a million casualties. Mud, rats, ordure, slaughter – none of these were depicted.
But it attracted 20 million people at the time, a figure not surpassed until Star Wars.
A packed audience responded to Helen Kennett’s moving account of the local sacrifice; and to Carol Moss’s musical interpretation.
Marching songs, the thunder of the guns, moments of rest – her playing conveyed every mood in a 74 minute performance.

Basil Abbott

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