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Find out about the huge medical and human impact resulting from the casualties of the First World War. Recommended for students aged 11 and over.

On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, British forces sustained 57,000 casualties, creating a medical emergency of unprecedented scale and severity.

This exhibition commemorates the centenary of this momentous battle, drawing on the Science Museum's extensive First World War medical collections, the words of the wounded and those who cared for them. It explores the remarkable medical responses and innovations catalysed by this conflict.

The displays look at treatments for limbs, faces, sight and minds and the medical technologies used, such as x-rays, applied antiseptics, blood transfusion and limb traction.   

Going beyond the battlefields, the exhibition also focuses on the longer-term impact of the war on the soldiers who were left physically and mentally affected, and shows how the medical lessons learnt still carry relevance today.

Suitable for KS3, KS4 and post-16 students, especially those studying GCSE History courses.


This page is for educational groups; for general visitor information, please see the main exhibition page.

Supported by

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

With additional support from

The Eranda Rothschild Foundation