Fort Nelson - Commemorating the Battle of the Somme

Fri 01/07/16 10:00 AM - Sun 03/07/16 5:00 PM

The Battle of the Somme screenings
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson will be showing the pioneering war film documentary The Battle of the Somme in the Artillery Hall next to the First World War Railway Howitzer.

  • Screenings at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3.30pm
  • 1.5 hour silent film
  • Limited seating
  • Free admission - pre-booking not required

Gun firings
The uniformed detachment Ubique will also commemorate the battle with a demonstration and live firing of the first World War 18-pounder field gun on the parade.

  • Daily 1pm live firing of the 25-pounder gun
  • Live firing of the 18-pounder by Ubique at 11.30am, 2pm & 3pm
  • Free to view

Insight: First World War military artefacts
First World War themed handling session, with commentary focusing on military artefacts

  • Daily at 12.30pm & 3pm
  • Free to participate

Fort Nelson is a large Victorian fortification (one of the famous Palmerston Follies), which was built between 1860 and 1870 to deter an enemy attack on Portsmouth from inland, although it never saw action against the French.  Portsmouth played a critical role as an embarkation point during the First World War for the millions of soldiers deployed to Europe.  Soldiers stationed in Portsmouth during this period used Fort Nelson as a barrack and training centre.  It is believed that the soldiers stationed at the fort practiced trench digging between Fort Nelson and Fort Southwick prior to being deployed to mainland Europe.

Today Fort Nelson has become home to The Royal Armouries' national collection of artillery.

Café 1871 on site offers a range of snacks.