Frances Stevenson and the Battle of the Somme Film
Frances Stevenson was the personal secretary of David Lloyd George throughout his political career. They shared an intimate relationship for many years before marrying in 1943. Her diaries provide a fascinating insight into her life with Lloyd George, and she comments upon his political work and their connections with other prominent figures in society.
On 4 August 1916, Frances describes her trip to see a film about the Battle of the Somme. Produced by independent filmmakers, the Government recognised it as a useful means of informing the public of overseas events. It depicted scenes from the offensive on the Western Front, including wounded soldiers and the living conditions of the trenches. The film was viewed by over 20 million people in 1916. Public reactions to the film were mixed; some were shocked at the realities of trench warfare while others viewed the battle as an unpleasant but necessary means to victory.