The FIRST World War Battle of the Somme claimed the lives of many sons of Worcestershire and now a century on The Somme Project has brought their stories to life.

A county-wide Worcestershire Libraries initiative, it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the battle, which lasted 141 days from July 1 to November 18 in 1916 and affected the majority of families across the county.

James Robertson, library customer advisor, said: "As an 'armchair' local and military historian with three relatives who served during the battle, including my grandfather, I thought the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme would be an unmissable opportunity. It was a wonderful chance for Worcestershire Libraries to engage with the general public in commemorating this hugely important event in British history and raising awareness amongst younger generations of the many sacrifices made on their behalf 100 years ago by so many young, local men."

The project involved 21 of Worcestershire’s libraries, with each identifying and researching one local man who gave his life during the Battle of the Somme and creating a display for their library. Some worked with partners such as local history groups whilst others enlisted the help of Scout groups (Droitwich Library) and schools (Pershore Library). All libraries put on their displays and exhibitions during July 2016 and some libraries also put on showings of the 1916 film, "The Battle of the Somme". A central display of one casualty from each library is also on display in the Hive until mid-November.

As part of the project, the pupils of Pershore High School explored the background of Sergeant Charles Twigg's life and wrote poems and letters to him that were displayed among Pershore Library's exhibition. Sgt Twigg, who lived in Pershore, first went to France in July, 1915, and was awarded the 1915 Star along with the British War and Victory medals for his service. He had been involved in fierce fighting at La Boisselle during the first days of the Battle of the Somme where he was wounded. He died from those wounds on July 23 aged 22 and is buried at the nearby Warloy Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension.

Emma Powell, Pershore library manager said: "This has been a wonderful project, the students involved have created some moving and inspiring work."

A memorial service will take place on November 10, which will Brian Gusterson, a relative of Sgt Twigg, to meet the pupils who researched his uncle.

A display of the young people's work will also be in Pershore Library throughout the whole of November. Also at the library on Saturday, November 19 there will be a showing of the 1916 film The Battle of the Somme from 2-3pm and a drop-in children's activity throughout the day.

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for localism and communities, said: "The Somme Project has been an incredible success in Pershore and across the county. The work put in by library staff and the pupils of Pershore High School in remembering Sergeant Charles Twigg is a fantastic tribute to the memories of those who fell at the Somme, and it is very touching to see his living relative, Mr Gusterson, involved with the project.

"The display looks fascinating and touching in equal measure, and I would encourage people to visit Pershore Library or their local library to see its own display, as well as the exhibition at The Hive. Congratulations to all involved with this poignant project and for commemorating the Battle of the Somme so wonderfully."