The First Battle of the Somme, (COMIC: Time Bomb!) usually called simply the Battle of the Somme or the Somme Offensive (AUDIO: Men of War) and informally described at the time as the Big Push, (COMIC: The Weeping Angels of Mons) was a major battle on the Western Front (COMIC: The Weeping Angels of Mons) of World War I that took place in the Somme (COMIC: Time Bomb!, The Weeping Angels of Mons) between 1 July and 18 November 1916. (AUDIO: Men of War)
Whilst searching through time for the Seventh Doctor, Death's Head materialised in the "no man's land" between the British and German lines of a battlefield in 1916. He mistook a German tank for his mother, then realised it wasn't and fired upon it. Before he could do more damage, he was again pulled through time by the Intra-Venus, Inc. time machine he was wearing. Mystified British soldiers thought that Death's Head was "Jerry's new secret weapon." (COMIC: Time Bomb!)
Jamie Colquhoun's regiment under the command of Captain Douglas Fairbairn participated in the Big Push in July 1916 and took the town of St Michel meeting no resistance because the town was emptied by the Weeping Angels. (COMIC: The Weeping Angels of Mons)
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- The comic story Time Bomb! does actually specify it as the "First Battle of the Somme", which is the most technically correct designation. Nevertheless, "Battle of the Somme" generally means to most people the 1916 action, not the 1918 "Second Battle of the Somme".
- In the real world, the battle took place from 1 July to 18 November 1916. Several sources within the Doctor Who universe refer to the fighting "in the Somme" or "in Somme" and occasionally date this fighting to other years, including 1914 (PROSE: Eater of Wasps) and 1917 (PROSE: Death and Diplomacy). This should not be mistaken for alternative dates suggested for the Battle of the Somme. The area suffered at least three major named battles during World War I, including Battle of Albert in 1914, Operation Michael in 1918, which is confusingly sometimes called "The First Battles of the Somme, 1918" and Second Battle of the Somme in 1918. Given these multiple battles, the trench-warfare nature of World War I and the fact that the Somme is also the name of a river, an extreme caution has to be exercised when adding material to this page. A mere mention of "the Somme" does not yet place it within this particular Battle of the Somme.
- The name "Big Push" was actively used in contemporary press, such as this article "Battle of the Somme: The Big Push in Pictures"  in a New Zealand newspaper from October 1916.
- One possible "game over" for the video game Don't Blink has the player being sent back in time by a Weeping Angel to the year 1916 to die in the Battle of the Somme.