Somme16 is inspired by the true events of Albert Ernest Peeke a Private in the 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment during the Great War. Somme 16 focuses on key events which took place from the 1st July 1916 to Albert’s untimely death on 16th September 1916 during the first day for the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
The movie focuses on four key points during Albert’s time in the Somme from the first day of the battle until his untimely death on the battlefield. The idea behind the film is to show what everyday life was like for soldiers in WW1, not just in battle but also living in the trenches.
THE IDEA BEHIND THE FILM
The idea for Somme16 came when writer/director Steve Davis started looking into his family tree.
Steve’s Grandmother Diana Arras Peeke sadly passed away in 1997 in the small village of Wickhambreaux in Kent. Being adopted as an infant she knew very little of her parents or siblings. It wasn’t until Steve began researching his family tree in the summer of 2019 that he discovered the truth behind his Grandmother’s adoption and the tragic fate of her parents.
Diana was born in Yorkshire in January 1917 and was a very poorly baby. Shortly after her birth her mother died due to a tumour and being in ill health she was taken to the Royal infirmary in Hull while her young siblings were taken to a care home in Driffield. Her father Albert who had been fighting in the Great War since January 1915 was sadly killed in action in the Battle of The Somme.
Somme16 is a very personal film for writer/director Steve Davis and his family. Every man who fought in both World Wars are heroes, not least his great grandfather Private Albert Ernest Peeke whom the movie is based on.
Lest We Forget.
Diana Arras Peeke, daughter of Pte Albert Ernest Peeke and Emma Peeke, with her grandson and Somme16 director Steve Davis.
Timeline of events
1st July 1916
First day of the Somme
The 21st Division succeeded in obtaining a firm footing in the German line, the first objective allotted to the 64th Brigade being the line Crucifix Trench – Round Wood.
14th July 1916
1st Btn East Yorkshire Regiment enter Bazentin-le-Petit Wood
At 09:30 the 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment went into action at the northern edge of Bazentin-le-Petit Wood. They advanced facing heavy machine gun fire and suffered heavy loses.
29th July 1916
21st Division transfer to Arras
After heavy fighting in mid-July the 21st Division were drawn from the line and transferred to Arras. The 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment took over frontline trenches at Roclincourt on the 29th.
16th September 1916
Battle of Flers–Courcelette
Travelling five miles overnight to reach Flea Trench the 1st Battalion East Yorkshir Regiment would attack the village of Gueudecourt in support of the 9th Kings Own York Light Infantry Regiment and the 15th Durham Light Infantry Regiment.
The attack was a huge failure and this is the day Private Albert Ernest Peeke lost his life.