The Battle of the Somme was the biggest and bloodiest of the First World War. Some 1.2 million combatants were casualties in a battle which came to symbolise forever the fearsome slaughter of that terrible war. The Somme left its scars on the generation that went through it, but continues 100 years later to haunt the psyche. What was it all for? Was the seven miles of blood-soaked territory won at a terrible forfeit by the British and French worth the effort? What did it mean for the regular German army which offered heroic resistance but for which the Somme became a "muddy grave"? Here, through the archives of The Irish Times, writers examine the legacy of the Battle of the Somme on Ireland and the wider world.