Library hosts a very personal exhibition on Somme battle

Billy Buchanan
Billy Buchanan

Bonnybridge Library will be putting on an exhibition which will give personal accounts of one of the bloodiest battles in our history.

Titled Bonnybridge Men on the Somme, the display deals with the First World War’s Battle of the Somme, which was waged in France from July 1 to November 18, 1916 and resulted in more than one million men being killed or wounded.

Organised by Baillie Billy Buchanan, the exhibition is particularly emotive for him.

He said: “My own grandfather John Buchanan was wounded by shrapnel in the last battle of the Somme offensive. He was soon back in action before becoming a POW in 1917 until the end of the war.

“I have now discovered other men from Bonnybridge who fought in the Somme offensive – some came home and some still lie in a foreign field.”

One of those men was Edward Kenny, an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander who was not as fortunate as Baillie Buchanan’s grandfather. He was killed in action on August 27, 1916 and awarded the 1914 to 1915 Star, the Victory and the British War medals for his service.

Baillie Buchanan is now looking for relatives of men who served in the battle to come forward so their stories can be included in the forthcoming exhibition alongside John and Edward.

He said: “I want to tell their story and highlight their heroism.”

You can e-mail Baillie Buchanan at william.buchanan@falkirkcouncil.gov.uk to give him the details.